Vid Google is building a driverless car that comes sans steering wheel, accelerator pedal or brake pedal, because - it claims - the vehicles don't need those controls.
Mountain View said it is currently creating prototypes that will work "safely and autonomously without requiring human intervention".
It is so confident about the tech it is testing in the cars that it has ripped out controls familiar to those of you who spend time driving a vehicle.
Google is in the process of building a fleet of 100 prototypes that come loaded with a screen showing the route, a start button and what is basically a holy-shit-stop-now panic switch.
The electric-powered automobile, which has its speed capped at 25mph (about 40kmph), is a fat, squat, miserable-looking car. The front design comes with a human-like face with a thousand yard stare and a gritted-teeth grin.
Steely determination, perhaps. But your correspondent can't help but view the entire project as being a little bit sinister.
Here's Google's latest sales pitch about its driverless car project:
We started with the most important thing: safety. They have sensors that remove blind spots, and they can detect objects out to a distance of more than two football fields in all directions, which is especially helpful on busy streets with lots of intersections.
But the experimental vehicles won't be hitting the streets any time soon. Instead, Google said its "safety drivers" would start testing early versions of the cars using - you guessed it - manual controls.
"If all goes well, we’d like to run a small pilot program here in California in the next couple of years. We’re going to learn a lot from this experience, and if the technology develops as we hope, we’ll work with partners to bring this technology into the world safely," the ad giant said. ®
* Well, steering wheel-less, at least. We suspect it's not a hover car...