The iCar and the Google's car
According to Steve Jobs' longtime friend Mickey Drexler: “Steve Jobs had several products in his mind before he died and one of them was to design and produce a self driven car called The “iCar”. He believes this Apple car could have made a serious impact in the car market because Steve also wanted to see Apple to dominate the roads with its “iCars”. Both Business Insiders Magazine and Time Magazine confirmed that prior to his death, Steve Jobs told their reporters that after the computer market, the music market, and the wireless phone markets, the Television market, the next target should be the automobile market, as well as other markets. Unfortunately, he died before realized his dream.
Having expanding into the car market is not just Steve Jobs' dream but also a dream of Google's founder Sergey Brin. In the past few years, Google already works on a self-driving car. The Google car has been the subject several news articles detailing this revolutionary car. Google's goal is to improve travel times and safety on the highways where all traffics are controlled by central computers and where all cars would drive itself to whatever destination that you want. According to the report, you can sit in the car and program into a computer where you want to go. The car would calculate the distance, and traffic on the street, contacts central control systems, and drive you to the address that you type in.
Google has been testing these cars by driving them on California roads for the past year. Although the cars could go by itself but during testing time, there is always a driver behind the wheels just in case something happen. Google's cars have video cameras, radar sensing, and laser technology to help the software control the cars on the road. A Google's person said: “If you can fly an unmanned airplanes, there is no reason you cannot drive an unmanned cars and within the next ten years, we will see more self driving cars on the road.” A Software engineer added: “Computer driving car is safe because it never get drunk, never get angry, but always follow a strict order from the software program. The software could detect other vehicles on the road and avoid accidents.”
At this time, several states including Texas, Florida and California already approved for self driving cars and it is expected that people will be able to buy them in the near future. According to several reports, Google is not compete with General Motors or Toyota in building cars, it only want to sell the computers and software programs that help these cars to drive itself the same way that Google allows other companies to build mobile phones as it only want to make money by license the Android platform.
Watch Google car: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-nYhKD8leAg
- Blogs of Prof. John Vu, Carnegie Mellon University