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Google car for the blind. And then for everybody.

April 2, 2012

Can Google really productivise the self-driving car?

The Driverless Car Gets Stuck on a Curb

The Driverless Car Gets Stuck on a Curb (Photo credit: Melody Kramer)

We’ve seen this story many times before – research division of a big company announces product copied straight from sci-fi books of the 50ies. And then… nothing. The product is too risky – both technically and business-wise that managers get scared of. The cost of bringing it to the market would be too big. They chop the innovation into pieces and if we’re really lucky some of it trickles down into consumer tech years later. Most of it gets forgotten and waits for the re-invention.

I remember seeing in 2002 how BMW innovated in car-repair systems. Augmented reality glasses for servicing cars. With the final goal that all manuals in the future are going to be based on augmented reality . That includes IKEA‘s – imagine a world where you don’t need to put together and then break apart a big closet because you were careless at step 2. Ten years later? Nothing.

But I digress, back to self-driving cars. If this gets productivised this could have an effect on the world that’s easily comparable to innovation in search that made Google be Google. Will they be willing to risk it? Or will they just push the tech a bit further and then wait for the automobile industry to respond by incremental innovation getting us to a self-driving car somewhere in 2050?

Self-driving autonomous cars can change the world massively. And environmentally it could be the biggest improvement since we managed to act on  CFCs. Let’s wait and see. I hope Google car is not just the toy of their PR department. It can be awesome.

Blind driver takes Google car for a spin

ago Blind driver takes Google car for a spin A video released by Google shows Steve Mahan, who is 95 percent blind, behind the wheel of its experimental self-driving car. By Dan Carney, contributor A blind guy driving a car? That was the latest step in Google’s two-year-old program to develop a self-driving car.

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