It appears that Google/ Alphabet have wisely chosen to take baby steps in executing their autonomous car concept. Seeing that Google’s self-driving cars have already driven over one million miles on public roads, mostly in the environs of tech hubs Austin and San Francisco, that makes these cities the perfect locations for releasing their ride sharing service. The source commented that the self-driving cars will include both small and large vehicles, and the most suitable place to witness them in action (at least initially) is controlled, limited areas such as large corporate office developments, military bases or campus colleges.
Self-driving cars are at the crossroads of the automotive and high-tech sectors, and tens of billions are being pumped into maybe the most coveted and hottest sector under development today. Earlier this year it was reported that Google was working on a concept to compete with Uber, and the rumour has now been verified.
Uber is currently working on developing its own autonomous driving capabilities and some automakers have already distributed semi-autonomous technologies and still experiment with shared mobility.
Analysts note that Google is now supplying the clearest indication yet concerning how it intends to monetize its self-driving cars. Google refused to comment.
Many recent polls indicate that just one-third of U.S consumers might have an interest in buying self-driving cars. According to vice president and automotive practice leader at Gartner, Thilo Koslowski, the two-thirds that claim they are uninterested in self-driving cars are nervous because they are concerned about losing control.
That means that beginning with “ride for hire” services is a good idea as a way to slowly ease self-driving cars into the consumers’ minds. Koslowski points out that these potential “ride for hire” services could enable customers to experience the technology and embrace it in a larger way. That would not only help Google, but the whole industry.
Google X hired an auto-industry veteran, John Krafcik, as the chief of its cars project a few months ago.
Google stated that it had no immediate plans to make self-driving cars a free-standing business unit back in September, but management did highlight that the division was a good candidate to become one at some point in time.