Self-Driving Car: Google’s Future Target Market

Google is in discussion with some auto makers regarding how self-driving-car technology will be brought to the market. Are consumers ready to adopt on this big innovation?


According to Project director Chris Urmson that self-driving car might take six more years before it can be produced in the market. He’s working on a six-year timeline when his 10 year-old son turns 16 and can finally drive in California. But despite this longer time frame, he added that, “We are thinking now about how to bring this car to market.”


Google Company and the rest of the team are still undecided whether they will design its own car or create their own software and operating system for the auto makers to buy. Urmson said that “We’re trying to figure that out now,” and Google is talking constantly to some unspecified auto makers.


Original leader of Google’s autonomous car project, Sebastian Thrun said that a lot of “debate internally about how automobiles can use this technology.”


He added that, “There will be a time when a significant number of cars will carry Google technology.” This is surely possible in the near future but a lot of consumers are still doubtful about this project because they haven’t tested it.


Self-driving car looks like any other vehicle on the street, except that it uses a real time map data and multiple sensors where it can work and run on the streets without any human manipulation.


Since 2009, this project has been started and became a part of Google X which is the research lab of the company for risky and long-term initiatives. This takes so much time of Google but it might be an edge for them later on.


Urmson mentioned that Google’s car will really be expensive, but he refused to give further details. Probably laser sensor makes it expensive because it perched on top of the vehicles, which is made by Silicon Valley-based company Velodyne.


Urmson said the price will fall as the components are made in higher volume. “Our vehicles are expensive today, but none of the components are inherently expensive,” he said. “We don’t see anything fundamental about the cost.”


Google is already trying to run the vehicles outside San Francisco Bay area, in Arizona, Florida, Texas and Washington, D.C., among other places. As what they have observed, the car accelerated quickly, it stopped at all red lights and automatically slowed for cross-walks. But Google said that they haven’t tried running the vehicle on snow.


Indeed, it’s still a long way to go for the company.