By now, we all know or at least have heard of the project Google has been developing – an autonomous car for the masses. That puts the tech and auto world on a collision course, in a “crash” that might reshape the face of the industry for ages.
Google’s Mountain View, California headquarters campus is filled with bicycles for employees to easily commute among buildings without driving. But when it comes to the lack of motoring skills, even people without a driving license might soon have a four-wheel alternative: Google’s experimental self-driving cars. The largest tech conglomerate in the world has been hard at work on the autonomous project during the last five years – and during that time the company has been very secretive when it comes to commercial plans. Now, according to Chris Urmson, the former Carnegie Mellon University researcher who heads the entire project, a first viable step might be to offer the self-driving vehicles as a shuttle for Google employees or even as a public service for the entire Mountain View city. “We don’t know whether it would be Mountain View or somewhere else, but some kind of test like that would make an awful lot of sense,” he commented.
But if Google’s plan to offer the autonomous cars as a public service would be enacted, the company would be even more at odds with the traditional automakers, who are also deeply entrenched in the autonomous race: they aim to gradually introduce autonomous-driving systems in personal cars that would still put the driver in control.
Via Automotive News