Over a year ago, I blogged about Google becoming verb. You know…don’t know an answer?…Google it. How silly of me to think that was progressive. Google has now gone from a relatively passive verb to a full fledged action-oriented verb! According to CNN this week, Nevada has become the first state to approve a license for “autonomous vehicles” — in other words, cars that cruise, twist and turn without the need for a driver – on its roads. Now THAT’S one heck of a search engine!
Last year, I would have been thinking an auto manufacturer would be the one to lead this charge. Not so GM or Ford. Google! Damn they’re quick. Think about it…with all their satellite and navigation capability with Google Earth, they just needed to add video cameras, radio sensors, and laser range finders in order to be successful with autonomous navigation.
Google X founder Sebastian Thrun said that the self-driving vehicle project aims “to help prevent traffic accidents, free up people’s time, and reduce carbon emissions by fundamentally changing car use.” I should say so.
Right now, these are just for demo purposes (and require a standby driver). But soon self-driving cars will be marketed to real people. Just imagine the brand marketing possibilities. Will these driverless (consumerless) cars be able to make purchase decisions for us? No more making fun of David Hasselhoff or K.I.T.T. from Knight Rider!