Self-driving concept car proves safety with goldfish

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Michelle Starr is the tiger force at the core of all things. She also writes about cool stuff and apps as CNET Australia's Crave editor. But mostly the tiger force thing.

The Guangzhou Auto WitStar self-driving concept car attempts to demonstrate its safety with an on-board fish tank — because no one would endanger goldfish, right?

(Credit: Car News China)

We can almost see the logic: if a car was going to crash, would you build a fish tank into the rear armrest? This is how the Guanzhou Auto WitStar — debuted at the 2013 Guangzhou Auto Show earlier this month — concept is demonstrating its safety. The glass pod has 10 goldfish inside, and if the autonomous car were to crash, the tank would break and the goldfish would die.

Of course, we don't expect that to happen at all. Although, according to Car News China, manufacturer Guangzhou Auto did have an autonomous driving system all figured out, with cameras and computers that reconstruct a 3D image of the surrounding environment to map a route (pretty standard for self-driving cars), the model on display seemed to have been largely crafted of foam.

If the car did go to production, though, it would be fitted with an electric motor with a range of 100 kilometres and a petrol-powered range extender that adds 600 kilometres. The car would have a top speed of 160 kilometres per hour and would accelerate from zero to 50 kilometres per hour in 4.5 seconds.

Because the car drives itself, the front two seats swivel around so that all passengers can enjoy the goldfish.
(Credit: Car News China)

Google's self-driving car is actually pretty safe. While we'd hesitate to assume that a smaller company tests its systems as rigorously as Google, we would suppose that there is actually a bigger danger to the on-board goldfish: you can't run the air conditioning non-stop. We imagine an hour parked in the hot sun would have dire consequences.

Read more about the Guangzhou Auto WitStar on Car News China.

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