Perspective: Google’s Googley Bubble Car Of The Future. So What?

Oh my, apparently there isn’t anything serious to talk about today; so the global media is choosing to be gobsmacked by a pod-like, 25 mph, electric golf cart that drives itself – around a parking lot. Really folks?

To be sure, here at The Auto Future and Greener Ideal we’re interested in serious solutions to the development of alternatively-powered, zero-carbon vehicles. So, in our view, today’s flap over the electric, auto-drive Google car may just be the dumbest way to waste ink on a popcorn fart ever seen on planet earth.

Is the Google Car technology clever? Yes. Is the rolling demonstrator interesting? Yes. But, is the concept applicable to the majority of people who are dependent on ad-hoc personal movement to conduct their lives efficiently? When pigs fly.

Granted, if you live in a beehive-metroplex like New York, Chicago, or even San Francisco where a city center means the center of everything, i.e. home, office, shopping, entertainment, healthcare and the like; perhaps ‘pod-driving’ could potentially trigger a serious discussion driven by the alternatives to today’s mass-transportation. But, if one lives or commutes to work beyond the range of a 10 minute drive, the ‘beam me to the office Scotty’ approach ain’t going to work.

Then there’s the matter of mixed traffic integration. Google and its acolytes have been taunting us with the premise of ‘auto-driven’ vehicles for some time, and the public has barely gotten used to the potential of auto-drive Lexuses that allow the option of self or auto-driving; let alone simply asking the public to give up on ‘self-driving’ entirely. That said, even if the concept were to be largely acceptable, vehicle grid-lock is already a serious problem in most metro areas. So what would a practical solution look like; simply ban personally driven ICE’s, PHEV’s, EV’s, trucks, vans, and – wait for it – busses? Not likely.

I accept that the concept could work in more controlled areas such as boundary-based business and academic campus’, integrated home/office/shopping malls, planned communities, and even small nextgen towns, but again, that ain’t free-form ‘driving’, that’s point-to-point ‘people-moving.’ So in the end of the day, the Google auto-drive car isn’t new at all, other than that fact that HAL 2000 will be in complete control (again); and after all, how did the technology work out for ‘Frank Poole’ back in ‘2001?’

According to Google’s co-founder Sergey Brin,

“The main reason the team and I decided to build this prototype vehicle is that we can do a better job than we can do with an existing vehicle. The project is about changing the world for people who are not well-served by transportation today.”

Wow, as the old opine pines, ‘the more things change, the more things stay the same,’ but particularly when it comes to a matter of technological hubris, or even simpler yet; having nothing more important to do with a bazillion dollars.

Recent Articles

Cars of the Future: Promising Alternative Energy Sources

Eco-conscious drivers and scientists are looking for cleaner ways to power their cars. Here are some of the most promising alternative energy sources for the automotive industry

ABB and Volvo Electrifying Public Transportation in Gothenburg

Volvo and ABB are set to introduce eco-friendly electric buses in the streets of Gothenburg, Partille, and Molndal in 2020.

Electric batteries: the future of transportation

How do we tackle climate change and global warming? One way could be adopting newer technologies especially in one major area: Transportation. Here's a look at some of the best electric battery technologies.

Electric Vehicle Start-Up Faraday Future Receives $2B in Funding

Towards the end of last year, Faraday Future was said to have secured some fresh source of funding. The electric car start-up has now confirmed receipt of $2 billion to aid in the construction of its first EV by the end of the year.

Hyundai Will Use “Second Life” EV Batteries to Store Energy

Hyundai is partnering with Wärtsilä, a Finnish energy storage firm, to make use of the so-called second life electric car batteries for stationary energy storage.

Related Stories



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Stay on op - Ge the daily news in your inbox