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Google Unveils First Fully Functional Self-Driving Car

by Brandon Russell | December 22, 2014December 22, 2014 6:00 pm PDT

Google’s quirky self-driving concept has officially been built into a fully functional vehicle, and it’s a bit different from what we saw earlier this year. The prototype has actual headlights and the front has been re-designed slightly for a friendlier look. It still looks like a tiny clown car for circus acts, but it could be the future of the auto industry. All the parts necessary for a self-driving car are included, which means this guy is road ready.

Google says it’s going to spend the holiday break testing the car out on a track, so don’t expect to see it on big highways just yet. However, come next year, Google hopes to get the car onto the streets of Northern California, though someone will be behind the wheel to ensure the safest possible experience. Today’s announcement is more about introducing people to Google’s first fully functional autonomous vehicle, and less about the technology itself.

When Google’s self-driving prototype was unveiled in May, the firm promised a completely autonomous experience without the need for human intervention. This latest prototype does have a steering wheel and brake system in the event a human does need to take over. But when it gets on the road, Google is hoping its technology will be advanced enough to allow passengers to just sit back and enjoy the ride.

The lead picture in the gallery above is Google’s completed prototype.

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Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...

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