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Calling it the “best holiday gift we could have imagined,” Google announced on Monday that it had finished a road-worthy prototype of its self-driving car, and that it could hit the streets next year, with “safety drivers” behind the wheel in case something goes awry.

“We’re going to be spending the holidays zipping around our test track, and we hope to see you on the streets of Northern California in the new year,” Google said in a Dec. 22 blog post.

Google unveiled an “early mockup” of the car in May; that model lacked functioning lights and a steering wheel, among other things.

“Since then, we’ve been working on different prototypes-of-prototypes” to create “our first complete prototype for fully autonomous driving,” the company said.

Google says the car’s sensors and computer programming could someday replace human eyes and ears entirely and allow the cars to drive by themselves, preventing the leading cause of death for those between the ages of 4 and 34: traffic collisions caused by driver error.

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