Google's self-driving car is still very much an R&D project. But will it eventually find its way onto the freeway?
Parsing out what exactly Google is accomplishing with its self-driving car project isn't easy. The world awaits as dribs and drabs of information trickle occasionally from Google’s blog tease.
The latest leak, earlier this week, was a blog post by Chris Urmson, director of the Google Car project at Google. It offered a glimpse of how far Google's self-driving car has come, as it takes driving lessons on the streets of Mountain View, Calif.
The video clip posted on Urmson'’s blog also gives a sense of what the self-driving car’s machine vision is actually seeing as it tools along.
But what exactly have we learned? More important, what challenges are still ahead for Google (and the automotive industry as a whole) to move the self-driving car from an R&D project to a real product? We talked to a few industry analysts.
What computer vision sees
One thing that Urmason's post makes very clear is Google's ambition. It hopes to take its autonomous cars through every street and every city, in every terrain. Clearly, Google is eager to debunk the conventional assumption: Autonomous cars, most likely, will be deployed for driving on freeways.
Former beat reporter, bureau chief, and editor in chief of EE Times, Junko Yoshida now spends a lot of her time covering the global electronics industry with a particular focus on China. Her beat has always been emerging technologies and business models that enable a new ... View Full Bio
The Business of Going DigitalDigital business isn't about changing code; it's about changing what legacy sales, distribution, customer service, and product groups do in the new digital age. It's about bringing big data analytics, mobile, social, marketing automation, cloud computing, and the app economy together to launch new products and services. We're seeing new titles in this digital revolution, new responsibilities, new business models, and major shifts in technology spending.