Google is going to build Google-branded self-driving cars, because car manufacturers showed no interest

google car

Google is planning to get into the motor vehicle business with its own fleet of self-driving cars. Apparently, the search giant failed to partner with other well established motor vehicle manufacturers and has thus chosen to tread this path alone. If all goes well in the coming years, Google’s self-driving fleet might become a popular means of transportation in the U.S.

The plan here is to only offer the cars as a “robo-taxi” service that would pick up customers on demand from and to supporting locations for the time being. Google won’t run the robo-taxi service itself, the company plans to team up with an operator to launch the service in its own vision and likeness. Furthermore, we understand robo-taxis will support human drivers for safety concerns in the first few years, but after that, the cars will run on their own.

If you want one of these bad boys as your own, don’t sweat it because Google plans to market these cars to individual drivers if everything goes according to plan. Bear in mind though that if and when these cars are available, they might come exclusively for taxi services before individual drivers can go out to a car shop and purchase one.

We’re truly excited about self-driving car prospects, it could very well allows for less accidents and fatalities on our roads. However, expect Google to fit a screen in every robo-taxi for advertisement purposes. On the bright side, this move might lower the fee to move from point A to point B. On the not-so-bright-side, the NSA will likely have access.

[via Amir Efrati, image via Flickr]

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6 comments

  1. David Roper

    [@Darcy] Darcy, you know Fonzie? I’m impressed.

    As for the Google car, I can picture it now when the driver is explaining to the officer investigating the wreck.

    “You see officer, I was using my Google Glassses to motion the direction for the car to take and it hit the side window and shattered. That’s when I lost control of the car. I can’t do anything anymore without my Glasses.”

    What a bunch of Nerds we are creating. (Yes, I know the original spelling of the word is Knurd.) aha! :-)

  2. Seamus McSeamus

    [@Vamien McKalin] What about young and good-looking? Inquiring minds want to know.

    For the record, I am male, middle-aged, balding and wrinkling. Also, according to my wife, I grow more crotchety each day. I haven’t chased any kids off my lawn, however.

    As to Google’s cars, I believe they will be limited to California, at least in their initial phase. AFAIK, no other state has legalized self-driving autos.

  3. Darcy

    I agree it’s good, and especially good that they have drivers to begin with as a backup system. The technology is experimental after all, and current GPS technology only allows placement within about 30′ I think. Plus with traffic and pedestrians you know there are some serious hurdles to overcome. Google can probably do it though.

    One thing, I hate to be a Grammar Nazi but this is a pet peeve of mine. Second to last paragraph, the beginning of the second sentence says “Bare” with me. Bare is an invitation to undress together in this sentence. The correct grammatical form would be “Bear with me” an in forbearance or patience. Now if you’re young, female and good looking . . .. ^_~

  4. RealBull

    Good! It’s about time someone has moved forward with something innovative in the automotive field. Google has enough power/money and creative motivation to inspire other companies to do the same. In the past we’ve seen GM kill the electric car while nowadays we dabble with hybrid vehicles which is just a baby step to what technology can do and society thinks it is some kind of monumental effort. After this, I’m hoping Google will push some kind of clean renewable energy for automobiles. I hope they can make more streamline car designs popular, too (vapor-engine?). Google may do some evils(Gmail?), but they are also a breath of fresh air for society when it comes to technology. I hope this is the beginning of squeezing out narrow minded companies like a booger out of a child’s nose.