Technology is pushing us forward in ways that we can barely understand every passing day. From cell phones to spaceships, there are leaps and bounds in technological progression happening every moment. Perhaps most strikingly has been the evolution of the self driving car. Once thought to exist only in the realm of science fiction, in films like Minority Report, the self driving car is getting nearer and nearer to public release. Google is pioneering the industry with their Google Car. Being that the Google Car is still somewhat mysterious, we decided to break down the vehicle with 10 easy to understand facts that will blow your mind! Keep on reading if you have even a passing interest in this wondrous new automobile.
The Google Car can move up to 100 miles per charge.
So before you go ahead and look up online car insurance for your new Google Car, you might want to know that they can only drive up to 100 miles per charge. This sounds crazy, and will probably jack up online auto insurance prices, but the truth is that this amount isn’t very bad. You should know that 100 miles is a crazy good range for battery only vehicles, as other battery operated vehicles can’t even go that far. If the idea of such a limited range makes you uncomfortable then you should know that the car will have built in precautions to prevent you from planning a trip longer than your car can safely make. So don’t be worried about your drivers anxiety. Your Google Car is built with computers and top shelf technology that will ensure that you always have enough battery to get safely back to where you came from.
The Google Car is completely electric.
At this point in time everyone should be at least passively familiar with electric hybrid vehicles. Tesla Motor Vehicles has made an entire company based around these environmentally friendly vehicles. Hybrids work with electric components to help increase the length that your gasoline will go. The Google Car is completely electric and independent from gasoline. Becoming a 100% electrical vehicle will mean that the Google Car is almost completely green and even more aerodynamic! We will mention more about the electric usage later on in our list as it will come back with some interesting results. We also think that the electric dependence will make a big difference on when you go for car insurance quotes, as well!
You can use your smartphone to summon the Google Car!
The fact that the Google Car is run almost entirely electrically should mean that there are some pretty cool applications because of it. The Google Car uses satellites and GPS for coordinating itself on the road and this also allows you to use your smartphone in order to summon the vehicle. That’s right! You can use an application downloaded on your phone. Simply put in the GPS coordinates of where you want your car to go and then be there when it arrives. Pretty neat, right?!
The Google Car was built with automated driving in mind, not adapted.
One big concern of past ‘self driving cars’ has been the fact that the vehicles haven’t been specifically built for their new purpose. Many companies have chosen to try and adapt existing vehicles in order to make their electric vehicles. While Google has no intention of starting their own car manufacturing company, they are partnering with an unknown manufacturer in order to build the Google Car from scratch. This means that you won’t have to worry about any issues. The Google Car was built specifically for its actual purpose. No adaptations needed. The rumor going around is that Elon Musk and Tesla are working with Google. This can’t be verified but it would make sense!
There is no steering wheel and no set of pedals.
We are positive that this following fact will freak people out. When you get into the Google Car you will notice one thing immediately: there are no pedals or steering wheels in the vehicle! Yup! You probably are already getting a little bit of anxiety, right? There is no fail safe where the human rider takes over control of the car. Much like in those science fiction books, you will be at the mercy of the vehicle. Fortunately these vehicles were designed for maximum safety, as we will get into later on in the list!
The Google Car has a 360 degree radar.
Without a pair of human eyes in the drivers seat the Google Car needs to be able to know where it is going. The 360 degree radar allows the Google car to keep a real time, complete view of its surroundings so that it can safely navigate you around possible hiccups in the road. The full 360 degree road view is actually better than a human driver. The natural progression here is to believe that the car will be safer almost by default due to this fact. The radar scans for fine details and it works in conjunction with the set of cameras that are also built onto the vehicle. The sensors help to kill blind spots as well as detect objects situated around the vehicle. The alleged range is two entire football fields, far more than you should never need to see all at once.
The Google Car is being built in Detroit.
Right now Google is focused on getting 100 prototypes out there on the road. In order to get them produced and ready to rock, Google is turning to the ‘Motor City’ – Detroit. It seems almost poetic that Detroit would get Google’s electric car business, seeing as the city was so prominent due to its production of the gas guzzling alternatives. Google hasn’t listed what companies they are working with to produce these vehicles but they have said that they will be working with multiple automotive production companies to get the job done.
The Google Car is safer in accidents!
We’ve touched several times on the fact that Google’s self driving cars will probably be much safer, so now it is time to dig into why they are safer. Well, first of all the full view radar detector and camera system should be more aware than your average driver. This itself is a huge change in the driving routine that consists of people distractedly texting, getting tired, swerving, eating – and so on. Second, the cars are also built to endure hits. The cars have foam bumpers built into their frame as well as flexible windshields. Their construction type allows them to absorb the energy that collisions impart, thus protecting the riders. With safety being of the utmost concern of riders it has also been something Google has focused on. And that should be of great relief to the majority of riders out there. Whenever you bring up self driving vehicles to friends or family, their first thought is inevitably of the worse thing that could happen – a dangerous accident! These safety measures should alleviate those concerns until the stigma wears off.
Only 2 riders at a time!
One of the biggest complaints about the Google Car is the fact that it will only allow 2 riders in at a time. The reason for this rider limitation is that Google wants to keep the car compact and size compliant due to its technology. So riders will be fairly limited in the early going. The interior of the car only has one bench seat like in the back of a regular vehicle. The seats are comfortable and spacey and there is plenty of leg room for you to put your possessions down. Speaking of possessions: the Google Car also reminds you to grab your stuff when you are leaving the vehicle. The car doesn’t want you to lose anything when the next rider gets in.
The Google Car tops out at 25 MPH.
Probably the most limiting factor of the new Google Car is the fact that it will only be able to top out at 25 MPH. What is the usage of a vehicle that can only go 25MPH? Well, there are plenty of reasons. Probably the speed limit at first has to do with safety, but there are other elements at play. Testing the vehicle out at a lower speed will result in a longer travel time, but a more luxurious ride. The hope is that cities will begin planning roads specifically for the self driving cars. These roads would then become the role model of roads everywhere else, as they’ll be safer and more organized. Once cities began to account for self driving vehicles we bet that the top out speed will be adjusted quite a bit. But in the interim you will have to understand that certain roads will be off limits, at least for awhile. So no highway driving for your Google Car – not yet.