Belfast Telegraph

Google's new self-driving car is revealed...and it's ready to hit the road in the New Year

By Andrew Griffin

Google has revealed its self-driving car and has said that it is ready to hit the road in the New Year.

The driverless car looks a lot like the early prototype that Google unveiled in May. But that didn’t even include working headlights, while the new version is ready to drive around.

The car is going to be driving around Google’s test track over the holiday period, before taking to the roads Google’s homeland of Northern California in the New Year. While it does so, the car will be controlled by safety drivers, who have access to temporary manual controls when the car needs it.

The steering wheel and pedals will eventually be removed, Google said when it announced the project in May. It hopes that eventually the inside of the car will just be two seats, seatbelts, a place for luggage, buttons to start and stop the car and a screen that shows the route.

Since the car was first unveiled earlier in the year, the company has been working on both typical car parts, like steering and breaking, and the engineering required to make the car able to drive itself, such as the sensors inside and the computer that will power it. All of those systems have come together in the first working version of the car to be unveiled.

Driverless cars are set to begin trials in the UK in January, as part of a scheme run by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. But safety experts have warned that the cars could be hacked by terrorists and hackers bent on creating chaos and crashes on Britain’s roads.

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