Pod-like driverless auto prototypes for testing are being developed and assembled and will undergo testing at Google facilities in California in the spring. The goal is to have driverless cars available on the market within five years, Chris Urmson, director of Self-Driving Cars for Google tells the Detroit Free Press.

Urmson was quoted as saying he does not expect regulations to be a barrier. Driverless cars are allowed by law in many states including Nevada, Florida, California and Michigan. Georgia decided it does not need to change its laws to allow autonomous driving, and Urmson says he thinks most states will reach the same conclusion.

Google equipped conventional cars for testing about six years ago before deciding to make its own fleet for evaluation. The company announced in May it will build its own test fleet from the ground up.

A facility in suburban Detroit is making a more refined version of the first car announced last May, Urmson says.

Cost remains an issue, the newspaper reports. A remote sensing device using lasers called a Lidar costs $70,000 alone. Urmson says Google has developed its own smaller and less expensive Lidar device that it is testing on the prototypes.

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