Some say they look like koalas. Others say they’re the smiling face of the future. And if you live in California, you’re already sharing the road with them.
Google had told the world that its line of itty-bitty self-driving vehicles was poised to hit the roads in summer. Well, they’re here. Last week, a few prototype vehicles started cruising around Mountain View, Calif., and the folks at Google are eager to see how the public receives them.
The Next Step
Although the self-driving cars are out of the garage and onto the roadways, the “training wheels” are still on. The vehicles are still equipped with a steering wheel, accelerator pedal and brake pedal, and a qualified driver will be there to take over if things go awry.
The cars drive conservatively. For instance, their speed is capped at 25 miles per hour. And they pause 1.5 seconds after a stoplight turns green “because many accidents happen during this time.”