Google’s autonomous car project gets new forces with manager from Airbnb image

Shawn Stewart is the latest high profile executive to join the ranks of Google specifically for its self-driving car project – though he was actually not involved with the automotive industry until now.

Stewart is now making his acquaintance with the automotive industry and up until now he was involved with the technology aspects of the hospitality industry. That’s because he was formerly the CEO of Trip Advisor, then moved to Airbnb, leading the vacation rental division. Now he has a very focused role over at Google – help the Mountain View company with the commercial implementation of autonomous car technologies. Google has been hard at work in this sector for about seven years and the development really took off during the last year or so.

Google appears to be ready to kick off the crucial part of taking the autonomous project out of the “secret” lab and onto the dire market – where it needs to bring home money to cover the development costs. Stewart is a specialist in the short-term rental-based service industry, meaning we could see the company having some ideas in that area. This leads us to believe Google might be looking to enter the car-sharing and ride-sharing segments, but with an autonomous twist.

Via Tech Crunch