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Saturday, September 12, 2015

Google to increase manufacturing of self-driving car prototypes

"Google is evidently expanding its manufacturing efforts for its prototype autonomous cars, planning to build "a few hundred" of the vehicles this year, as opposed to the 100 that were originally proposed. This, according to Google X policy head Sarah Hunter, will allow members of the car team to gain an even better understanding of how to build a self-driving from scratch.

Hunter, speaking at the California Public Utilities Commission, also detailed some of Google's thoughts on how they might sell the vehicles, should they actually come to market.

"A model where we manufacture cars for sale will require the same sort of electric vehicle charging that exists today," she told an audience of regulators and politicians. "Our prototype vehicles are fully electric. That's not to say the eventual vehicle we mass manufacture won't be a hybrid."

Hunter also offered some more details about how the existing prototype cars work.

Hunter also shared new details about how the existing driverless prototypes work. "All [the car] has is a 'go' button, a 'please slow down and stop' button and a 'stop pretty quickly' button," she said. "The intention is that the passenger gets in the vehicle, says into microphone, take me to Safeway, and the car does the entire journey."

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