Very easy rider: Now Google plans driverless robot motorbike - and wants permission to start testing them on the road
Google has begun lobbying the state of California to allow it to test driverless motorbikes and trucks on its roads.
The technology giant has caused controversy over its driverless vehicle testing in recent years as critics complain of its role in our ever-increasing reliance on technology.
Despite the project still being in its infancy, documents reveal Google now wants to extend its permission to use driverless cars on public roads to other types of vehicles.
In January this year, a group protested outside the home of Google engineer and creator of the driverless Ghostrider motorbike Anthony Levandowski, over his role in developing autonomous vehicles and Google's links to Boston Dynamics - a military robotics contractor Google acquired last year.
If driverless motorbikes are designed with any similarity to Google's autonomous cars, the vehicle as we know it will undergo a radical redesign.
The Prius and Lexus cars Google have refitted for its prototypes have no steering wheels and pedals, with sensors removing blind spots.
Capped at a speed of 40kph, they feature two seats with seat belts, buttons to start and stop and a screen showing the vehicle's route.
Google boasts the vehicles 'never get tired or distracted' and said have clocked up about 1.2million kilometres of driving time on California roads.
Using imagery of its surroundings processed in real time, the cars are said to anticipate objects and other obstacles as they travel, scanning a distance of two football fields around themselves.