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Google Shows Off Finished Prototype of Self-Driving Car

Image: Google self-driving car
Google on Monday unveiled what ti described as "the first real build of our self-driving vehicle prototype." Google

Just in time for the holidays, Google has taken the wraps off the first complete prototype of its self-driving car. In May, the company showed off a mockup of its autonomous driving vehicle. But that was just an early design concept — the vehicle didn’t have headlights, a steering wheel or brake and accelerator pedals. On Monday, the Internet giant unveiled what it called “our first complete prototype for fully autonomous driving” — a bubble-like car that sort of resembles a compacted Volkswagen Beetle.

“We’re going to be spending the holidays zipping around our test track, and we hope to see you on the streets of Northern California in the new year,” the company said in a blog post. Google in September received permits from the state of California to start test self-driving cars on public roads. There's still no indication of when these autonomous vehicles will actually hit the market.

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— James Eng