Google’s self-driving car, up close and personal


One of Google’s self-driving vehicles sits outside the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif. Tuesday. (Stephen Lam/Reuters)

While plenty has been written about the Google self-driving car, we haven’t seen a lot of good photos of it.

The recent run of press on the car overwhelmingly leaned on the same bland image of the Lexus shot from behind at an intersection. Sometimes images of the car bubble up on social media, but nothing is crisp and detailed.

Even Google image results lead to mostly pictures of Prii from the project’s early years. (Most notable, this classic shot of Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin leaning out of a Prius, as chairman Eric Schmidt looks on, holding his arms in a less silly fashion.)

But the recent drought is over! Tuesday photographers got a good look at the car. Enjoy a close glimpse at the sensors and cameras that help it navigate roadways.


This laser radar system — which reportedly costs $70,000 — spins atop Google’s self-driving vehicle. (Stephen Lam/Reuters)

This sensor is mounted on the front grill. (Stephen Lam/Reuters)

There’s a camera inside the windshield that reads traffic lights and street signs. (Stephen Lam/Reuters)

Much of this SUV — part of Google’s fleet of about two dozen self-driving cars — looks no different than a typical Lexus RX450h. (Stephen Lam/Reuters)
Google co-founder Sergey Brin has said the tech company could put self-driving cars on the road as soon as 2017. Google showed off the technology to reporters in California on Tuesday. (Reuters)
Matt McFarland is the editor of Innovations. He's always looking for the next big thing. You can find him on Twitter and Facebook.
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Matt McFarland · May 14, 2014