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Photo via Google
Photo via Google

If you’re about to head onto I-5 to fight the traffic to grandmother’s house for the holidays, you might appreciate this: Google is one step closer to the self-driving car.

Today, the company announced “the first real build of our self-driving vehicle prototype.” Apparently, it has almost all the bells and whistles of a real car, including “steering and braking, as well as the ‘self-driving’ parts like the computer and sensors.”

Google engineers report that the vehicle is “fully functional” and ready for test drives. “We’re going to be spending the holidays zipping around our test track, and we hope to see you on the streets of Northern California in the new year,” they write.

According to one Google+ user, Volker W, “It looks like a Beetle. Cute!”

I, for one, can’t wait for driverless cars. Have fun, Googlelites!

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