MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., May 28 (UPI) -- Google said it has decided to build its own driverless cars without pedals or a steering wheel rather than modify cars made by other manufacturers.
The car will only have a stop-go button and no other other controls. The car, which looks like a Volkswagen Bug with a friendly face, requires very little in the way of input from its passengers.
"Ever since we started the Google self-driving car project, we've been working toward the goal of vehicles that can shoulder the entire burden of driving," wrote Chris Urmson, director of Google's Self-Driving Car Project, in a blog post. "Just imagine: You can take a trip downtown at lunchtime without a 20-minute buffer to find parking. Seniors can keep their freedom even if they can't keep their car keys. And drunk and distracted driving? History."
The almost cartoon-like vehicle, designed to seem non-threatening to new customers, doesn't have a traditional shape with the wheels pushed to the four corners of the car.
The car will have two seats, run on an electric engine and have a top speed of 25 mph to ensure safety. The vehicle will use a combination of lasers and sensors to help the drive autonomously. It will use a version of Google Maps specifically built for the company's autonomous cars.
Google said it will build the first fleet of 200 cars in Detroit and use them to test their autonomous program.
"We'll see these vehicles on the road within the year," said Urmson.