One of Google’s self-driving cars has escaped from the company’s Mountain View headquarters, according to reports.
The runaway vehicle was part of a fleet of new prototype cars that are 100 per cent autonomous, lacking a steering wheel, pedals and, it seems, any sense of discipline.
A Google spokesperson has sought to reassure individuals in the surrounding area that it is “highly unlikely” that the car will go on to cause mass destruction.
“This is not a ‘Rise of the Machines’ scenario,” he explained. “Yes, our self-driving cars can go up to 25 miles per hour, but locating it shouldn’t be too difficult. I mean, it’ll be the one that’s driving by itself.”
The Google car is capable of driving for approximately 100 miles on a single charge, which has led some conspiracy theorists to suggest that the car hasn’t gone AWOL at all, but has instead been sent on a mission to disrupt its competitors.
Apple’s Cupertino HQ is positioned just under 10 miles away from the vehicle’s last known location, and would be a prime target for the “malfunctioning” two-tonne battering ram. Unconfirmed reports indicate that Apple has shut down for the day in order to safeguard its property and employees.
An insider source that works for the iPhone manufacturer told ITProPortal that tensions are likely to remain high until the missing vehicle is located.
Read more: Apple apparently building a driverless car
“Sure, we’ve all heard about Google’s ‘Don’t be evil’ slogan,” he said. “But who knows if its cars are singing from the same hymn sheet.”