Google is an example of a wildly successful company that does not rest on its laurels. Instead, the company continues to branch out in innovative and original ways. An article that appeared over the weekend in The New York Times took an in-depth look at one of Google’s new business ventures: self-driving cars.
The author states that Google is branching out in ways different from other Silicon Valley businesses, which have primarily focused on digital media and social networks. Google has moved far beyond its core business of search engines to try to build the autonomous vehicle. The project is ambitious and risky because the cars would not be ready to be mass-produced for at least several more years.
Google, however, has the resources and ambition to take on such a long-term project. Google’s gamble on the robot car has vision. According to The New York Times, the company sees a potential profit in being able to sell navigation services and information to makers of robot vehicles or possibly to sell the navigation system itself.
The scientists behind the autonomous car project at Google and Google’s co-founder Larry Page are personally passionate about the new business venture because they see the robot car as a way to fundamentally improve transportation and the way we live.
The autonomous car has the potential to make driving safer. The robot cars would cut down on accidents caused by human error or sleepiness or distracted driving. With less accidents, cars could be built lighter, which would cost less energy. The cars could also cut down on energy consumption and costs by making driving more efficient.
Google Cars Drive Themselves, in Traffic (The New York Times)