Google's pod-like two-seater, next step to driverless car, set to hit public roads this summer

Associated Press

Google's pod-like self-driving car will make its debut on public roads this summer.

The car — introduced as a rough prototype last year — looks like a Smart car with a shiny black hat to hide its sensors. It can drive, brake and recognize road hazards without human intervention.

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The car has limits. It can't go more than 25 miles per hour, and can only drive in areas that have been thoroughly mapped. It doesn't need a steering wheel or gas pedal, but will likely have them at first to meet current California regulations.

Google plans to build and test 50 to 100 cars to gather data and help get people used to the idea of self-driving vehicles. Google wants to have self-driving technology available to consumers in five years.