Google's koala-esque self-driving car is definitely aiming for "cute" with its design. A bubbly little pod that looks like it should be emitting Jetsons noises as it trundles harmlessly through a picturesque Silicon Valley campus, it's pretty obvious that the autonomous vehicle's designers wanted it to come across as adorably inoffensive.
And this past weekend, Google brought its latest prototypes to Community School of Music and Arts in Mountain View, California, giving non-Google employees their first chance to peer through the windows and see what's going on inside these cheeky overgrown golf carts.
. Perhaps not surprisingly, it's straight up Playskool in there.
Consensus among the R&T office is that this looks like some kind of partnership between Nintendo GameCube and the Step2 toy company that never made it off the mid-1990s sketchboard. The turquoise-and-gray color scheme, rounded design language, and appearance of hard injection-molded plastic all convey a theme that makes us oddly reminiscent of birthday parties at Discovery Zone.
There's a little bit of technical information to be gleaned from a glance at this photo: At the top of the snapshot, we see a video screen that acts as a side-view-mirror display, and of course there's the big red emergency shutdown button. The center console seems to hold standard power window buttons a few additional buttons whose functions are not immediately apparent, and check out all that leg room. This photo was apparently snapped after the removable steering wheel and pedals, , were taken out.
For more photos of the interior of Google's twee self-driver, check out .