Google’s Self-Driving ‘Koala’ Cars Now Out in the Wild
Last month, Google announced that its homemade autonomous vehicles — funky two-seaters, built to move with a touch of a button, sans steering wheels and brake pedals — would be arriving on public roads “this summer,” joining its fleet of self-driving Lexus SUVs.
“This summer” is now.
The cars, which are required to have wheels and pedals, have started trickling out around Google’s Mountain View headquarters, the company said today. With them, Google has also released a website for information and community feedback on the audacious project. It took some heat after recent reports about the accidents Google’s SUVs have been in since roaming the roads six years ago. Two weeks ago, Google released the first of its monthly accidents reports, detailing 13 total incidents.
Google is not the only player in autonomous driving. Earlier this week, Ford unveiled its own plans. But, in California at least, Google has a solid lead — it now has, as of June 17, 48 self-driving cars registered with the DMV in the state (25 are its own prototype vehicles), along with 202 DMV-approved drivers. The runner-up in the state is Tesla, which has 12 approved cars and 16 drivers.