iNVEZZ.com, Wednesday, May 28: Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) has presented its new vision for self driving cars, by showcasing a new design that takes the steering wheel and the pedals out of the equation.
At the Re/code conference yesterday, the company’s co-founder Sergey Brin unveiled a prototype of an electric, two-seat vehicle that is driven entirely by computer using a variety of on-board computers and sensors.
In yesterday’s trading, Google shares closed nearly two percent higher at $574.87.
**‘Changing the world’**
While this is not the first time that Google has showcased its self-driving technology, yesterday’s announcement marks a significant change in the company’s approach to the project. Until now the tech giant has modified existing car models to fit its purposes. The new vehicle, however, is entirely conceived and designed by Google. This has allowed the company to make some bold design choices, such as stripping out some items that are considered essential for automobiles – namely the steering wheel, accelerator and brake pedal. Google’s drive for simplistic design is also evident from the lack of some other traditional elements, including mirrors, a backseat, a glove compartment and stereo.
According to Brin, the self-driving programme is currently in a prototype phase, but Google plans to build 100 early versions of the vehicles for testing this summer. Those vehicles will initially include manual controls in case something goes wrong, just like the company’s current self-driving car programme. After a pilot programme in California, Google will develop a broader programme, presumably for commercial use. However, the company doesn’t plan to sell the cars itself. Chris Urmson, the director of the project said, as quoted by Re/code: “We’re looking for friends and partners to make it happen.”
Google’s goal with this programme has been to create a safe and reliable method of transportation. “The project is about changing the world for people who are not well-served by transportation today,” said Brin at Re/code’s event. “There’s not great public transportation in many public places in the United States.”
**Analysts on Google**
The 40 analysts offering 12 month price targets for Google for The Financial Times have a median target of $662.50, with a high estimate of $750.00 and a low estimate of $525.00.
**As of yesterday’s US close buy Google shares at $574.87**
**As of yesterday’s US close sell Google shares at $574.87**