Google's self-driving car has no steering wheel, just a stop and go button

The vehicle was designed with a "friendly face." Credit: Google

Google's new self-driving car has no steering wheels and no controls other than a stop/go button.

The two-seater prototype has also has no mirrors, brake pedal or stereo.

Instead the vehicle has an array of sensors and self-drive software that Google has previously used in the Toyota Prius.

“The project is about changing the world for people who are not well-served by transportation today,” Google co-founder Sergey Brin said at the inaugural Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, California.

Google currently has no plans to sell the vehicle itself.

"We’re looking for friends and partners to make it happen,” said project director Chris Urmson.

He said the self-driving vehicle would mean the elderly "can keep their freedom even if they can’t keep their car keys."

He wrote in a Google blog: "Drunk and distracted driving? History."

A visualisation of what a future version of the car could look like. Credit: Google

The navigation software uses Google's extensive Google Maps data and the car would initially be capped at speeds of 25mph.

"We’re planning to build about a hundred prototype vehicles, and later this summer, our safety drivers will start testing early versions of these vehicles that have manual controls," Urmson added.

"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."