Take a look at the new prototype of Google’s self-driving car

(Photo: Google)
(Photo: Google)

In taking the wraps Monday off an actual prototype of its self-driving car, Google is calling it the “best holiday gift we could’ve imagined.” But wow, is it nerdy.

The prototype is almost identical in the look of the car that Google unveiled last May — only now it has working components like the headlights. It’s more of a pod than a car, with little wheels and a look that hews heavily to the cute end of the spectrum. Large headlights make it all the more goofy and lovable. There’s even a black nose on the front.

Google says in a Google-Plus posting that it has been making several prototypes, each meant to test a different function of the car. It’s not an easy task given that self-driving cars are loaded with sensors. Once the Google car is up and and running, it will be designed to take anyone anywhere without having to touch the controls. The car will be able to maneuver in traffic, make turns, stops and watch out for pedestrians, bicyclists and other hazards.
Google has already pioneered the technology on a modified Toyota Prius, first in Nevada and now in California. It also has forced the mainstream auto industry to take a close look at developing autonomous vehicles of their own.

This story appeared first in USA Today

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