GOOGLE’s AI self-driving engine was the world’s first small two-seater electric vehicle that took you anywhere – but with a catch.
The internet giant’s artificial intelligence-powered electric car called Firefly has been unveiled after being designed and built in Detroit.
However, skeptics raised concerns about the lack of human control points in driverless cars without steering wheels and brake pedals.
The design was first revealed to the public in 2014, with some viewers comparing it to a koala.
The self-driving vehicle, originally called the Firefly but later known as the Google Car, reached a top speed of 25 miles per hour.
The company withdrew the idea in 2017, but it has been under renewed scrutiny as inspiration for further development of AI self-driving vehicles.
MotorTrend has now described the car as “one of the most forward-looking prototypes of all time”.
The US magazine highlighted that Google was the first company to publicly produce “a car without human control points such as the steering wheel or brake pedal.”
The prototype was described as the company’s attempt to “convince” the watching world to “trust” its technology.
The report adds: “Essentially, it was Google’s fresh and friendly public face for its larger autonomous vehicle concern.”
As one of the few controls available, reviewers cited the car’s “decent storage space, plenty of room for two occupants and a huge ‘Go’ button.”
The Google Car’s first fully driverless ride took place in Austin, Texas in 2015.
Around 50 models are thought to have been produced before being retired in 2017, making guest appearances at venues around the world including London’s Design Museum.
More recently, a separate self-driving car company canceled its line of “robotaxis” last month, weeks after a pedestrian was hit.
Meanwhile, a report warned of the risk of autonomous cars being hacked by terrorists.
The regulation on automated lane keeping systems, which allow cars to take control from the driver, was approved by the government in 2020.
This means drivers can take their hands off the steering wheel and potentially engage in other activities instead, such as driving. B. making phone calls or watching films.
ALKS technology controls a vehicle’s position and speed up to 60 km/h in a single lane. It is not possible to change lanes, but it is possible to brake automatically.