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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Will Google change only our car driving behavior?

First Google conquered cyberspace with its search engine, then it changed mapping with Google Earth, then it changed the rule for advertising and spread Cloud computing to the masses with Picasa, blogger and Gmail. Now Google hit the roads with cars that drive themselves. 
October 10 the company announced that Google Cars, manned by trained operators, have logged over 140,000 miles by driving from Google's Mountain View campus to their Santa Monica office and on to Hollywood Boulevard. 
DARPA winner behind Google Car
The brain behind this project is Sebastian Thrun, the 43-year-old director of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, a Google engineer and the co-inventor of the Street View mapping service.
In 2005, he led a team of Stanford students and faculty members in designing the Stanley robot car, winning the second Grand Challenge of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, a $2 million Pentagon prize for driving autonomously over 132 miles in the desert.
Besides the team of 15 engineers working on the current project, Google hired more than a dozen people, each with a spotless driving record, to sit in the driver’s seat, paying $15 an hour or more. Google is using six Priuses and an Audi TT in the project.
The Google researchers said the company did not yet have a clear plan to create a business from the experiments. 
Google cars will safe life and nature
Google refers to World Health Organization, WHO, reporting more than 1.2 million lives are lost every year in road traffic accidents. Google believes that their technology has the potential to cut that number, perhaps by as much as half.  Google beliefs that self-driving cars will transform car sharing, significantly reducing car usage, as well as help create the new “highway trains of tomorrow." These highway trains should cut energy consumption while also increasing the number of people that can be transported on our major roads. 

This is a milestone in the history of self driving cars and opens a new area in transportation. In the near future we will search for a destination at Google Earth, then search for a free Google Car next to us and pay with our Google phone for free. In the next step Google will know, based on search behavior and life style pattern, when to send a Google Car to me, long before I ever know that I will need a car. Amazing foresight service for Ambient Assisted Living.  

Google Car is a visionary step from cyberspace into physical space and if it succeeds, it will boost hands free driving and mobile robotics of all kind. Google Car will become a new kind of mobile hands free information and media channel. Google Car will be fueled by information, ads and entertainment following every passenger from location to location without delay. Where ever you will be in the future, Google will be with you and you will be with Google. Some rules have already changed, and may be, they will even change Google in the future. 

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