Google's venture capital arm, Google Ventures, invested $258 million in Uber in August 2013. Now the companies could become competitors. Google is preparing to offer its own ride service using its driverless cars, per one report. David Drummond, Google's chief legal officer and senior vice president of corporate development, has informed Uber's board that this might happen, according to a person close to the Uber board, reports Bloomberg.
The data signals that autonomous cars will send and receive, and information each collects, will become common-- identifying everything from speed, turns, locations and obstacles to roadside stores, and signs. While the data could be used to refine and monitor the technology, future cross-channel marketing strategies could easily pull in that data, and even make it anonymous per location.
Evidently the U.S. Department of Transportation believes autonomous cars are in the future for Americans. A new study by the DoT -- Beyond Traffic 2045 -- describes a possible road map for the future of transportation in the U.S. -- not just for cars, but all modes of transportation.
The paper points out that the U.S. population will likely grow by 70 million -- up to 390 million by 2045. Some 75% of the population will live in places that will create Los Angeles-type traffic congestion in places like Omaha.
The paper describes ways to resolve future challenges through technology, connected vehicles, automated transportation, and trends that will shape the economics of transportation and freight movement through 2045.
The study also discusses the impact of change, higher temperatures due to more congestion, severe weather and rising sea levels.
"Many expect a tiered roll-out of vehicles as driving functions are increasingly automated over the next decade. Vehicles that can apply emergency braking or keep a driver in their lane are available now," per the study. "Automated driving on limited-access highways could be an option on luxury vehicles in several years. Full automation, where a driver no longer has to steer or adjust speed, could be commercially available within the next 20 years."
It’s crazy to me to think that a car will have complete control on the road. I wonder how the cars will be designed in that there will be no one sitting in the drivers seat. Who will sit shotgun? I question if the Prius pictured in the article that says Google on it, is going to be the first car that does not need a driver. This invention becoming reality will change the whole shape and design of cars. If I were the designer of the autonomous car I would make most of the cars look like the backseat of a limousine. This will allow people to interact comfortably and perhaps be more social. Not only will it enhance the design of cars but it will also change the whole culture of getting from place to place. Mom’s and Dad’s will no longer need to drop their kids off at soccer practice because the car can take their kids on its own.