Google has started testing the latest prototypes of its self-driving cars on the roads of Mountain View, California, with safety drivers on board.The prototypes will join Google’s Lexus cars, which use the same self-driving software, the company said in a blog post on Thursday.
Google’s self-driving Lexus RX450h sport utility vehicles have been in operation for several years.
During trials, speeds are capped at 25 mph. Though the prototypes are designed to work without a steering wheel or pedals, safety drivers will have a removable steering wheel and accelerator and brake pedals during the testing in case they need to take over.
Earlier this month, Google launched a website specifically for the self-driving cars.
Google has so far reported 12 accidents involving the prototypes. Injuries have been minor, the search giant said, and the accidents were mostly a result of human error by drivers of other cars involved.