Earlier this year, Google unveiled a brand new self-driving car that was unlike anything we had seen before. The cars were completely automated and lacked basic features like a steering-wheel and brakes. But for the state of California, this presented a problem.
The concept was simple: Google wanted to create a transportation pod that did all of the work for you. While Google has shown that its cars are quite safe and that they have gotten quite good at building autonomous vehicles, the problem is for the outlier scenarios. The state of California DMV has told Google that its cars must have basic controls so that in the event of a machine going rogue, the occupants are able to take control of the vehicle.
In short, the cars need to have a steering wheel and a brake pedal.
The vehicles that Google showed off were still in the prototype stage which means that the company still has time to comply with these features before the cars start mass-production.
There are few who doubt that the future will likely include autonomous vehicles on the road as you can imagine how much more you could get done if you didn't have to think about driving to work. Not to mention, autonomous vehicles, in theory, should be able to reduce accidents and traffic jams too. While a full-scale deployment of driverless vehicles is still many years away, the day they do hit the roads outside of testing scenarios is not all that far off.