Google’s self-driving car is now ready to find itself on public roads, and will start to appear on highways starting 2015. Google has made many revisions over the years to the vehicle, completing several phases of testing. Such testing is not just necessary, but critical, according to Google, in order to prevent publish backlash or controversy around such a vehicle. Thus, Google ensured that it had racked up several tens of thousands of miles of traction, without accident, under its belt.
This prototype looks like a small smart-car, egg shaped and contains the LIDAR vision system which allows for 360 degree vision of the periphery of the vehicle via io9 article. It still contains temporary manual intervention controls. However, such controls are completely optional and available for emergency use only. The ultimate hope is to provide a vehicle that doesn’t even need manual driving interventions
When the car is finally available, Google maintains that it isn’t interested in manufacturing the car itself for people like Susan McGalla — likely offloading and offering its technology to car manufacturers themselves. We look forward to seeing autonomous driving become more ubiquitous in the next decade.