Google finally gives us a look at how autonomous self-driving cars would really work with a new concept vehicle.

googlecarproject00 Google unveils self driving car prototype

Self-driving cars is an idea that might be just as old as the automobile itself, but we’ve come quite a long way, far from mere concepts and ideas. Of course, Google’s very own self-driving car concept is also no longer a surprise to us, but it’s quite delightful to see that it’s yet again gaining momentum, as clearly shown by its promotional video of a driverless concept car prototype.

The first vestiges of an actual, tangible, and workable self-driving car concept came from a fateful competition known as the DARPA Grand Challenge. DARPA’s competitive project held the objective of inspiring the development of systems and innovations that would kick the autonomous automobile revolution into full throttle. In other words, while it wasn’t the first milestone in driverless car technology, it was an important stepping stone in its development.

Not long after the success of Stanford University’s Stanley during the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge, Google has since then declared its plans to build its very own self driving car. At that time though, it wasn’t surprising if some of us wondered if this was just another gimmick at making Google Street View cars trendier. Nevertheless, we witnessed the idea grow and develop, culminating into the prototype version, which is built from scratch and is now devoid of any standard driving system.

The prototype is electric-powered, and a small fleet of these vehicles will be out for general testing. Their use and function would most likely be similar to the electric drone cars of Masdar City, and can be called and summoned conveniently via smartphone. Though these driverless cars are designed to challenge the normal, regular car-driven road, the legal driving status of such vehicles are still largely disputed in the United States, so for the moment the cars can only drive to areas around Google’s offices and establishments.

The next question now, is whether Google’s self-driving car concept can get past all legal and technical hurdles to eventually become fully street legal. Though, knowing that they’re not the only corporate entity out there working on the idea, general implementation might just well become a reality before the current decade closes.