Things are obviously going well at Google – I read an article the other day saying that Google’s self drive car has now graduated to being able to be driven on a real road, with real road users. I have to say that this is obviously a big milestone in the development of this technology.
There have been questions raised about why Google is pushing this – at first glance it doesn’t appear to tie in with any of the existing businesses. However, if no one is needed to drive the car people will be free to use the time on their commute to do other things – maybe respond to their emails, work or surf the web on their smart phones. These are definitely within the tech giant’s scope. Then there is the data that they could harness from this. As well as being able to build an idea of who you are based on your online behaviour and the use of your phone they can now see where you are driving. They already do this to some degree – just look at google maps on your phone and you can see the traffic density based off people’s cellphones!
But having this data will give them an edge. They will be able to use this data and sell it – ie they could use location data from your car and use it to serve up an ad from a local company as your car drives past and you are sitting it in surfing the web.
In this day and age data is king. Being able to use this data to be able to improve your bottom line is big business – and Google is a company that does this very well. Some of this data is given willingly to Google, such as when they sign up for a google account and then tie their google searching into that account. Other data not so obviously – a default setting on some android phones is to track your location at all times which is then viewable days/weeks/years down the track.