Here's the biggest thing Google got wrong about self-driving cars Danielle Muoio | Dec. 17, 2016, 1:55 PM http://www.businessinsider.com/what-google-gets-wrong-about-driverless-cars-2016-12 The tech giant has been working on autonomous technology longer than anyone in the game. It first announced the project in 2009 under Sebastian Thrun, a Stanford professor lauded as the founder of the self-driving car. . . . Up until Tuesday, Google has set itself apart from competitors by pursuing a fully self-driving car built without a steering wheel or pedals. That vision was embodied by its "Koala" prototype cars that have operated without driver controls since 2014 and don't come with a driver's seat. But at its Waymo press event, CEO John Krafcik said the steering wheel will stay and the cars will be piloted by humans. . . . Google employees explored partial autonomy, along the lines of Tesla Autopilot, in 2012. But when the company saw a driver's attention began to drift, Google decided to pursue full autonomy at all costs, Bloomberg reported. That decision led many staff members to leave Google and pursue self-driving car projects that held more promise of making it to market. Now, Krafcik has made it crystal clear that Waymo is still committed to Level 5 autonomy, but integrating self-driving tech into a car with standard driver controls certainly shows an acquiesce to keep things more consumer friendly. . . .