Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 1st Jun 2014 21:33 UTC
Talk, Rumors, X Versus Y

There were two striking pieces of business news this week from America's leading technology brands. On the one hand, Google unveiled a prototype of an autonomous car that, if it can be made to work at scale, promises to end mass automobile ownership while drastically reducing car wreck fatalities and auto-related pollution. Meanwhile, Apple bought a company that makes high-end headphones.

Which is to say that Apple's playing checkers while Google plays chess.

For better or worse, this is exactly why many people seem to hold Google in higher regard than they do Apple. Both Apple and Google are rich and wealthy beyond average-person-measure. Now, which company will be liked more: the one that uses said wealth to develop crazy may-or-may -not-work technologies that can change the world at a massively substantial scale, or the one that stuffs $150 billion in shady bank accounts to avoid having to pay taxes?

The more wealth you hoard, the less sympathetic people will be towards you. Unless, of course, you use that wealth in a very public way.

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Comment by ilovebeer
by ilovebeer on Mon 2nd Jun 2014 17:27 UTC
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The less time you have to spend watching the road as a driver, the more time you can spend as a passenger being spammed by advertising.

In all seriousness, research into autonomous cars is neither new nor exclusive to Google. However, wide-spread adoption of the technology is in the distant future at best. As another user already pointed out, people like to drive and they aren't going to jump at the chance to give that up. People also like being in control. Aside of that, if and when the vehicles and support systems are ready for the public, the transition over is going to be a slow process. At least here, in America, where change comes at a snails pace and the only thing that isn't debated and/or challenged for years before any (if any) progress is made, is declarations of war, congressional pay raises, and big business circle-jerking. If this is something for the good of the people, it's low priority so don't expect anything to come of it any time soon.

To be honest, there are plenty of other things that are more important and deserving of our attention than robot cars brought to you by Google ads.

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