Inside Google's self-driving AI motor – a world-first tiny two-seat EV that will drive you around – but there's a catch | The Sun

GOOGLE'S self-driving AI motor was a world-first tiny two-seat EV to carry you around – but with a catch.

The internet giant's artificial intelligence-run electric car called Firefly was unveiled after being developed and built in Detroit.

But sceptics raised concerns about the lack of human control points in driverless cars, with no steering wheel nor brake pedals.

The design was first showcased to the public in 2014, with some onlookers comparing it to a koala.

The self-driving vehicle initially dubbed the Firefly – though later known as the Google Car – had a top speed of 25mph.

The firm retired the idea in 2017 but new scrutiny has been given to it as a inspiration for ongoing AI self-driving vehicle developments.

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MotorTrend has now described the car as "one of the most future-forward prototypes ever".

The US magazine highlighted how Google was the first company to publicly produce "a car without human control points like a steering wheel or brake pedal".

The prototype was described as an attempt by the firm to "convince" the watching world to "trust" its technology.

The report adds: "In essence, it served as Google's fresh and friendly public face of its greater autonomous vehicle cause."

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Reviewers pinpointed the car's "decent storage space, plenty of room for two occupants, and a giant 'Go' button as one of the few available controls".

The Google Car's first fully driverless journey was in Austin, Texas, in 2015.

Some 50 models are thought to have been produced before being retired in 2017, making guest appearances at worldwide venues including London's Design Museum.

More recently, a separate driverless car firm last month pulled its line of "robo-taxis" weeks after a pedestrian was run over.

Meanwhile, a report warned about the risk of autonomous cars being hacked by terrorists.

Automated Lane Keeping System Regulation, allowing cars to take control from drivers, was approved by the government in 2020.

This means motorists can remove their hands from the wheel, potentially carrying out other activities instead such as checking phones and watching films.

The ALKS tech controls a car's position and speed up to 37mph in a single lane, unable to change lanes but with the possibility of slowing down automatically.

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