I just love the folks at Google! I really do. You know why? Because they never stop reinventing what the company stands for. If it was a typical tech start-up company then they would be satisfied after reinventing search and then controlling the internet search market for a number of years. But Google is not just another tech start-up company.
It has followed its success in Search by innovative eCommerce model and in the process redefined web advertising industry. The Android platform is another success story which is giving smart phone leader Apple run for its money. Google Apps is another innovative business model which offers a fresh perspective of commodity IT applications. Chrome, Maps, Vertical industry solutions…I could go on about how Google has broken the mould of a typical technology company and reinvented the existing business and commercial models.
But now they have done something which very few industry analysts could have predicted. This new development throws the theory of Marketing mix out of the window. Google Blog states that, Google has now developed technology for cars that can drive themselves. Their automated cars, manned by trained operators, just drove from Google Mountain View campus to Google Santa Monica office and on to Hollywood Boulevard. They’ve driven down Lombard Street, crossed the Golden Gate bridge, navigated the Pacific Coast Highway, and even made it all the way around Lake Tahoe while clocking over 140,000 miles. Google thinks this is a first in robotics research.
Google’s automated cars use video cameras, radar sensors and a laser range finder to “see” other traffic, as well as detailed maps to navigate the road ahead. Google claims that, this is all made possible by its data centers, which can process the enormous amounts of information gathered by their cars when mapping their terrain.
The blog then goes on to list number of benefits which this technology will offer to the society such as reduced risk of road accidents, better car pooling, creation of “highway trains of tomorrow”, reduction of emissions and so on. As I wrote before, I am a big fan of Google innovation but even I do not think that motivation behind this latest innovation is greater good of humanity. I see a radically game changing pattern emerging here.
With Google mash-up technologies, Google Maps, Android mobile technology reach and people search preferences, Google has some fundamental building blocks for creating next generation of people mobility predicting and sensing technologies. Now with the ability of driving them to these locations Google has delivered next piece of the jigsaw puzzle. Google now not only is able to search your next destinations based on you preferences and available business indexes, it now also has ability to drive you their. What’s more it will also be able to pick your fellow passengers by the power of social media.
With Google no invention is a mere accident. It all will come together eventually. There may be some major issues of data privacy along the way and there will be allegations of Google making us stupid. But in reality I think Google is slowly but surely building blocks to advance the cause of digitally networked society and it will touch all of us in more than one ways, if it is not doing so already. The Google ecosystem is upon us, whether we like it or not. You can now collaboarate, share, search, communicate, map, talk, sense and DRIVE in this ecosystem. What we now need is some healthy competition to stretch this ecosystem and pose some teasing question to this Google dominance. I have a feeling that this challenge will be as much good for Google as it is for us the consumers. But more about it some other time….
10 years, 4 months ago