Google’s self-driving prototypes being built in Detroit; will be tested in California in spring
During the course of an interview ahead of an address at the World Congress automotive conference in Detroit last week, Google's self-driving project director Chris Urmson said that the company is engineering and building self-driving in collaboration with metro Detroit suppliers.
With Google working on the self-driving car project - by equipping conventional cars for testing- for the last six years, the disclosure by Urmson is an apparent indication of the fact that Google has accelerated its efforts to bring self-driving cars to market by 2020.
The company has said in a May 2014 announcement that it will build its own test fleet of self-driving cars from the ground up.
According to the details shared by Urmson, the pod-like self-driving prototypes which will be tested by Google have been manufactured in Detroit by engineering and specialty manufacturing firm Roush, located in the Detroit suburb of Livonia.
The fully-functioning self-driving prototypes to be tested by Google dispense with some of the familiar automotive parts like steering wheel and brakes. The prototypes are scheduled to undergo testing at Google facilities in California in spring this year. For testing the self-driving prototypes, Google will have a "test driver" on board, as the cars will have no provision for human intervention in steering or braking.
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