Google has always been on the cutting edge of technology; their contributions to the modern world, substantial. From Chrome to Glass, there isn’t much Google doesn’t have a hand in. This pioneering spirit left no room for surprise when Google announced their latest foray into the automobile industry. Though fraught with antipathy, Google’s self-driving car is off the testing floor and on the road.
When Google’s autonomous car was first unveiled, auto-industry enthusiasts laughed it off as a “self-driving toaster.” Absent from Google’s vehicle are the frills and body curves that define luxury automobiles, and its function over form design left analysts scratching their heads as to the practicality of such a practical vehicle in a market where style so often trumps substance. However, recent movement in Google’s auto department has these former executives shaking at their steering wheels.
Joining the Google team to assist in their automotive initiative, John Krafcik, former CEO of Hyundai Motor America and president of TruCar, is one of the industry’s heaviest hitters. Those industry professionals so eager to mock Google’s entry into the market found their words hard to swallow when faced with a clear and definitive answer with plans for future involvement in the auto industry.
As they have in the past when Google has decided to change the world, they form a crack team of industry experts. John Krafcik is the first of many powerful industry names to join the cause. Google’s roster of famous names includes former Boeing CEO Alan Mulally and GM’s former boss of R&D Lawrence Burns. This tremendous joining of skill and industry know-how makes Google’s roster something to be feared.
As traffic deaths continue to rise as the amount of in-car distractions increase, Google is projecting a reduction of nearly 30,000 traffic-related incidents. The simple to use interface has all of three buttons for going, slowing, and quickly stopping. This newfound freedom from the responsibilities of the road allows Google to completely redesign the interior of their vehicle when the model is ready to hit the street. The “cars of tomorrow” we were promised so long ago, may finally be making their first appearance.