re/code looks at Google's self-driving car prototype, a small little vehicle which resembles a Fiat 500 that comes with no steering wheel, pedals, stereo or a glove compartment.
It may seem like a silly thing to point out, but even though Google’s self-driving cars have racked up 700,000 miles of testing, they don’t actually drive independently. The company said the cars can handle most situations (well, when they are loaded with a map of the roads and it’s not snowing), but every time they are sent out on the road they are carefully monitored by two Google employees who are ready to take control at any moment.
The new car has no such human safety net. It’s entirely driven by computers. To head off any concerns of malfunctioning robots hurtling you toward imminent doom, Google has made the car look cute and cuddly from the outset.
Because of the compact, round frame of the prototype with built-in sensor mounts, Google says the car has virtually no blind spots.
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