The real reason behind self-driving cars?

Written by on January 15, 2015 in News with 0 Comments

Drunk man driving a car vehicle.Google must be getting very confident about its self-driving car because it is starting to talk to car makers and suppliers about joining forces in order to bring the cars to market by 2020.

Reuters reports that Chris Urmson, director of Google’s self-driving car project, mentioned discussions had begun with manufacturers General Motors, Ford, Toyota, Daimler and Volkswagen as well as components with such auto parts suppliers as Continental, Robert Bosch, ZF and LG. Google’s prototype cars use microprocessors made by Nvidia, a Silicon Valley chipmaker that also supplies Mercedes-Benz and other automakers.

This begs the question if Google, by joining forces with these major players early, will ward off the slew of competitive self-driving cars that will undoubtedly emerge in time. Trying to establish a standard, even with patent protection, then opting for a licensing model makes good commercial sense for all parties – but we all know the world doesn’t work quite that way.

Google has invested heavily in the self-driving cars and will, if it hasn’t already, have to address regulatory concerns around driverless vehicles plying our roads and highways. There is no guarantee that if approved for one country, say the USA, the technology will be approved by others. The thought of having to apply for approvals in 250 countries would be daunting and financially unviable even for a company with Google’s massive resources.

That is assuming that the public will feel comfortable with the concept. It will no doubt be accepted over a matter of time but how will self-driving cars learn to cope with the idiosyncrasies of careless ‘live’ drivers that run into them?

All-electric passenger cars have also had a battle turning the heads and minds of potential buyers but with sheer perseverance, great design, improved technology, fast charging and extended range, plus the placement of ‘free’ charging stations strategically across the USA, Tesla is now a desirable option and sales are booming.

For Mr and Mrs Average, self-driving cars will remain a gimmick for some time, perhaps until they realize they can party to their hearts’ content and drive home without fear of being caught drink driving. Sadly, that may be end up being Google’s biggest selling point.

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About the Author

About the Author: Tony is a freelance writer, regular speaker, MC and chairman for the telecoms and digital services industries worldwide. He has founded and managed software and services companies, acts a market strategist and is now Editor of DisruptiveViews. In June 2011, Tony was recognized as one of the 25 most influential people in telecom software worldwide. .

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