Google, you can drive my car

IHS Automotive is out with a forecast on self-driving cars which could prove to be provocative.

The research firm thinks by the year 2035 close to 9% of all cars sold will be able to function without a human driver. The estimate is more aggressive than most covering the nascent technology.

The anticipated benefits of autonomous cars include fewer accidents, less traffic congestion, and an easier way for the industry to keep emission pollution under control. Detractors say insurance liability and software concerns will plague growth rates

What to watch: The engineers at Google X may have something to say about the direction of the self-driving car initiative. The company's purchase of Boston Dynamics, the advent of Google glasses, and the spins the company's early prototype has taken around Silicon Valley all point to more than a passing interest by the tech giant.


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Comments (16)
  • omarbradley
    , contributor
    Comments (966) | Send Message
    Google could buy Ford Motor Company. And i'm deadly serious when i say that. That's how powerful this technology is. Needless to say "they will re-make the making of the automobile with the purchase as well." A lot simpler than trying to run Motorola for a profit that's fer sure.
    31 Dec 2013, 02:56 PM Reply Like
  • Tdot
    , contributor
    Comments (9180) | Send Message
    Well they could try. Even if they bought up all the common shares, they would not have the Preferred Shares controlled by the Ford Family, and they have a controlling stake in the Company in terms of voting shares. And Ford could easily set in place poison pills for any hostile takeover attempts.


    Just a few years ago, in February 2009, all the common shares of Ford Motor Company could have been had for as little as $6B and change. Still kicking myself for not going to the bank for that 2-year $6B loan which I could have paid off early and pocketed some $70B in profits. Dammit!


    One does wonder though if Ford would be interested in having Google re-write Microsoft's crappy MyFord Touch software, which has singlehandedly destroyed Ford's "quality ratings" at JD Power and Consumer Reports.
    31 Dec 2013, 03:41 PM Reply Like
  • watermark302
    , contributor
    Comments (417) | Send Message
    If Ford truly wants software that works, they should bypass Google and go to Apple who does it best. Lives may depend on it.
    31 Dec 2013, 04:24 PM Reply Like
  • Tdot
    , contributor
    Comments (9180) | Send Message
    Or Apple. Anything has got to be better than Microsoft and their Blue Screens of Death, screen freezes, hangups, system crashes, incompatibilities, etc.
    31 Dec 2013, 04:29 PM Reply Like
  • fiwiki
    , contributor
    Comments (2923) | Send Message
    If Microsoft built cars they'd all be but one kernel panic away from crashing everyday.
    31 Dec 2013, 06:06 PM Reply Like
  • ispank
    , contributor
    Comments (1146) | Send Message
    Google should buy Tesla instead of Ford.
    31 Dec 2013, 09:53 PM Reply Like
  • gumshoecop
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
    Omar, You need to check your remarks before you put them in print. The Ford Family owns 51% of Ford Preferred Stock..........Ford isn't for sale to Google or any other company.
    5 Jan 2014, 01:38 AM Reply Like
  • rambler1
    , contributor
    Comments (1052) | Send Message
    What's the fun of being in a car that you don't drive?
    31 Dec 2013, 04:56 PM Reply Like
  • Raymondalpha
    , contributor
    Comments (73) | Send Message
    I lived in cities with electric trains. I wish my car can drive itself with electric power, so I can just set my destination, take a nap, and wake up when I arrive.
    31 Dec 2013, 05:32 PM Reply Like
  • myztiX
    , contributor
    Comments (96) | Send Message
    Why buy ford when you can buy tsla? Sounds like the better long term play without any skeletons in the closet
    31 Dec 2013, 06:46 PM Reply Like
  • 11498371
    , contributor
    Comments (14) | Send Message
    Tesla may be off to a good start, but they'll stumble somewhere along the way. I do like the whole electric car idea though. Electrics truck...yes please!
    31 Dec 2013, 07:08 PM Reply Like
  • Hubert Biagi
    , contributor
    Comments (912) | Send Message
    How do you insure a driverless car lol?
    31 Dec 2013, 09:37 PM Reply Like
  • JD in NJ
    , contributor
    Comments (1634) | Send Message
    I don't see the difficulty in that. The actuaries will quickly figure out the risk and policies will be offered.
    1 Jan 2014, 12:04 PM Reply Like
  • antiguajohn
    , contributor
    Comments (84) | Send Message
    I keep hearing the following drivel, "Detractors say insurance liability and software concerns will plague growth rates of self driving cars".


    Do the following thought experiment, 90% of all car accidents are driver error!


    So far after 450,000 miles, the only accident Google's self driving car had was when it stopped at a stop light and some human ran onto the back of it.


    Now the think of this, you are an insurance company, you can insure one of two groups, human drivers with ten times or more accidents or self driving cars with 90% fewer accidents, which group would you pick?


    Accidents are accidents, human or computer driven, in the end there is a settlement for damages, legally the fact that one is human and the other is a computer makes no difference, unless you are an insurance company who has to pay for damages.


    Now who do you think will get the lowest rate?


    As for people who think they enjoy driving, consider the following;


    You get into your self driving car, it drops you right at the front door of where you work and then drives off to find parking, your wife calls, she can't pick up the kids from school, so you text your car to pick up the kids and your wife said to pick up a list of groceries, you text the car and at the supermarket, your car picks up your groceries and then returns to pick you up at the end of you workday.


    That evening you and your wife go out for a movie and dinner, you meet friends and have a few drinks, no problem the car will never fail a breathalyzer test;-)


    One day you have 4 hour drive for a business appointment, you leave early, set your destination and an alarm clock, get some sleep and arrive rested and refreshed.


    Senior citizens who loose their driving licenses due to eyesight or other medical conditions (which many people have said once dad or mom lost their driving licence, they died shortly afterwards) can still get out and about and if they have an medical emergency, the car's body monitor senses it, heads to the nearest hospital and calls ahead with your vital signs.


    There are a plethora of other advantages, however do I really need to go on?


    Looking forward to a bright future with self driving cars.


    31 Dec 2013, 09:52 PM Reply Like
  • Bc12852
    , contributor
    Comments (208) | Send Message
    Tsla is too over valued for any shareholder friendly company to buy.
    1 Jan 2014, 11:57 AM Reply Like
  • Tales From The Future
    , contributor
    Comments (7637) | Send Message
    I actually think the 2035 prediction is late/conservative, this date may be more because of legal requirements around the world (stringent tests etc.) rather than technical reasons.


    I fully expect cheap self-driving cars by 2025 based on recent improvements in sensors and road tests by GOOG and Nissan.


    Both GOOG and Nissan seem to be far ahead of the pack at the moment.
    1 Jan 2014, 10:48 PM Reply Like
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