Google self-driving car photo gallery
But what did show up (eventually) is the tiny, two-seat car that travels just 25 miles per hour in its current form. It was roaming around the Googleplex and then showed up in a random corner of the event.
Here are 17 new photos of the Google self-driving car, inside and outside, from Google IO 2016.
Google's self-driving car on the road
We spotted Google's self-driving car on the road outside of the Shoreline Amphitheater venue. It was casually navigating Mountain View traffic.
It slowly moved down the leftmost lane, avoiding cyclists at a safe distance and stopping for pedestrians in the crosswalk when trying to make a right turn.
Parked at Google IO
This wasn't here before. This Google self-driving car appeared at Google IO on Day 2, so it was missed by most people just tuning in for Wednesday's keynote.
It has a new look to it, with drawings of people on the side. Otherwise, the diminutive size and Koala bear face-looking front end appear to be the same as we've seen in official photos.
You can see the sensors and camera on the top of the Google self-driving car in this photo. While the EV specs are a mystery, we know it uses cameras, radar and LIDAR sensors see for a complete 360-degree view of its surroundings.
Google's self-driving car interior
Inside the Google self-driving car is quite different from your average vehicle. There's no steering wheel in front of the two seats and it encourages you to look at screens (there are two if you look closely) while it does the driving.
The doors to this autonomous car weren't always open. They were mysteriously left open midway through Day 2, so we took some inferior photos.
This may not have the fancy Falcon Doors of the Tesla Model X (which has the doors of a billionaire), but this car could save lives one day thanks to its ability to navigate traffic with human input.
Google self-driving car safety
As safe and a futuristic as the Google self-driving car could become, it still include seatbelts (for good reason) and physical controls. Not everything is carefree and touchscreen-based in 2016.
The Google self-driving car is filled with hidden sensors. Its support of cameras, radar and LIDAR sensors give it eyes on the road at all times, better than everyday distracted drivers.
There are 1.25 million traffic deaths and up to 50 million more injuries every year, according to the World Health Organization. Google's car could turn that around.
Up close and personal
The headlights give it that cute Koala Bear look. However, night driving and navigating in the rain are less of a certainty for the Google self-driving car.
This is very much a prototype. We're not sure what these two buttons do, but they could either control the windows or act as an ejection seat button. We weren't allowed to press them to find out.
Google self-driving car back
The rarely seen backside of the Google self-driving car is shown here. You'll rarely see this because the car goes a slow 25 miles per hour. It's hard to get good photos while driving next to it on the road.
The Google logo is emblazoned on the side near the back of the car. There's no telling if Google will make its own cars for consumers or taxi companies, or if it'll partner with a big vehicle brands.
Google self-driving car size
This size of the Google self-driving car is demonstrated here. It's small, like a Smart Car, with tiny wheels and just two seats.
However, the inside seems spacious enough with more legroom than your economy class airplane seat and wide doors for entering and exiting the vehicle.
More Google self-driving car news
There are even self-driving trucks that are supposed to take to the open road to deliver cargo without the need for weary, cross-country drivers.
Stay tuned for more updates about the self-driving cars of the future with our car tech channel.
- Also see: more Google IO 2016 news and highlights