A statement published on the company’s Google Plus social media site on Monday said: “Today we’re unwrapping the best holiday gift we could’ve imagined: the first real build of our self-driving vehicle prototype.”
Google announced in May it would develop its own self-driving vehicles, which would use an array of sensors and computers to navigate streets without a driver at the controls.
“Since then, we’ve been working on different prototypes-of-prototypes, each designed to test different systems of a self-driving car,” it said. “Those specialised prototypes included models to test steering and braking, as well as computers and sensors.
“We’ve now put all those systems together in this fully functional vehicle – our first complete prototype for fully autonomous driving.”
Test drivers will, however, continue to use manual controls “as needed” as they develop the vehicles, the company said.