One of most asked questions about Google's Driverless Car program is what Google plans to do with it. After intensive research, we finally managed to nail some details about the strategy and products. Unlike some other projects, Google's Driverless Car program is designed to earn serious amount of money for the company. Google's Driverless Car Fleet is consisted out of Toyota Prius and Lexus RX 450h vehicles
You have probably read quite a few stories from Google's pre-certification press push, talking to select members of the press about how safe the system is - that the cars drove over 300,000 miles without a single incident etc. Such stories are a paramount in generating positive feedback from the car industry, which just like the airline industry - has to be extremely conservative. One seriously botched technology that caused the loss of human life and the manufacturer shipping that technology will find themselves liable to billions of dollars lost to different compensation claims.
Google's Driverless Car System (DCS) represents the integration of many services, turning your car into 'smartcar', just like the smartphone or tablet. With Google Voice, you have a globally-reachable free phone number. With Google Maps and Street View, you have potentially the best navigation out there. Google Glasses will sooner or later make way for Google HUD (Windscreen), which currently exists only on a drawing board and flexible OLED screens (years away from printable transparent OLED display on the inner side of automotive-grade windscreens.
Google's KARR - first generation prototype for the DCS project. The final product is quite different.
According to our sources close to the project, Google selected a limited number of partners to work on the automotive black driving box. On the picture above you can see the early prototype named KARR, the system was consisted out of 10 subsystems. However, the certifiable system is much more integrated and does not represent an afterthought, rather being an integrated system.
Partners for the certifiable project are Intel with its Atom microprocessors, Samsung and ADATA with NAND Flash memory and several other manufacturers which shall remain nameless at this point in time. We also learned that the Driverless car system will utilize the CAN and MOST150 Ethernet protocols to communicate with a sensor array and the rest of the Class A, Class B and Class C subsystems.
Google will submit the boxes for NTSB and FIA/TUV certification in October or November timeframe, after which we can expect roughly 3-5 year design period before the first driverless cars reach the market. The companies closest to deploy the Driverless Car System (DCS) are Volkswagen Audi Group and Toyota. As a side note, the DCS is planned to be assembled in the United States. Current systems however, are manufactured in Far East.
We will be taking a very close look at the impact DCS could have on the market and what industries are most likely to profit from it. However, the winner is already known, and its name is Google. Now, is that a good or bad thing, we'll leave you to decide.
Apple may have your pocket or messenger bag locked in, Microsoft wants to become the walls of your house but Google wants to drive you. Which tech giants will prevail - only time will tell.
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