Google’s famed self-drive car is ready to go. The first fully-functioning automated vehicles will be seen on Californian roads starting 2015.

“Today we’re unwrapping the best holiday gift we could’ve imagined: the first real build of our self-driving vehicle prototype,” the search engine giant said on its website on Monday.

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Initially, the world got to see a different car, with co-founder Sergey Brin saying at the time: “The main reason we wanted to develop this prototype vehicle is that we can do a better job than we can do with an existing vehicle.”

But with the latest announcement, Google is dispelling concerns that it was the best they could come up with design-wise: “The vehicle we unveiled in May was an early mockup – it didn’t even have real headlights,”the tech giant said on its website.

“Since then, we’ve been working on different prototypes-of-prototypes, each designed to test different systems of a self-driving car – for example, the typical ‘car’ parts like steering and braking, as well as the ‘self-driving’ parts like the computer and sensors,” it continued.

“We’ve now put all those systems together in this fully functional vehicle – our first complete prototype for fully autonomous driving.”

This might appear scary to the faint-hearted, but Google’s first 100 prototypes only have two buttons – stop and go, complete with GPS, camera and various sensors. Back in May, Chris Urmson of Google said,

“they won’t have a steering wheel, accelerator pedal, or brake pedal… because they don’t need them. Our software and sensors do all the work.”


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