According to reports, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s cofounder, Sergey Brin, made some profound statements concerning not the future of search engines, but the future of the automotive industry. Brin made an announcement today that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), of all the companies in the world, will have robotic cars, which completely control themselves, within 5 years.
In his statement, he said, “You can count on one hand the number of years it will take before ordinary people can experience this.” This statement was made at a bill signing ceremony for SB 1298, which is a bill regulating the highway safety and performance for computer controlled cars on California’s public roadways.
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This new bill aligns California with Nevada and Florida, which already have similar laws in place. It will allow a licensed driver to test the new car on public roads. There was some opposition regarding this bill, in its early stages. The opponents were afraid that it would not provide enough oversight into the development of the car, and that it didn’t truly guarantee the safety of the vehicle on the road. However, after discussing the matter, and making a few revisions, the bill did pass through the state Legislature.
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has already begun development of their robotic cars, and in fact, have a model on which they have acquired 300,000 miles of drive time. Brin said the company is still working to improve the sensors in the vehicle, and also to ramp up hardware failure support systems, to improve safety. He likened the vehicle’s operation to airplane flight, saying that it would be subject to similar equipment failures, which they were hoping to foresee and prevent from happening.
He says that equipment failure is part of a “long list of things humans have coped with in the past,” and seemed to be sure that Google would overcome its obstacles.
As if Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) didn’t have enough mountains to climb in its ongoing war with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) in the tablet market, now it seems they wish to conquer the automobile market as well. Ford, GM, and Chrysler are sure to take offense to this, as are many of the foreign automakers, such as Nissan and Toyota. Oh well, at least if Google offers in car navigation, you won’t get lost, as you might in an Apple designed vehicle.