Will Apple Join Google in Desire for Self-Driving Cars?
Google, which has boasted about its small contingency of self-driving cars for some time now, has begun the process of lobbying the state of Nevada to legally allow self-driving cars to ride the open highway. It may sound futuristic even for Google, but the internet search giant has, indeed, hired a prominent Las Vegas-based lobbyist by the name of David Goldwater to help push through legislation in Nevada that will allow the licensing and testing of self-driving cars in the state.
As Dvice writer Kevin Hall mused, a future headline in a major newspaper may soon read: "Google now the top automaker in the U.S. thanks to strong sales from its self-driving automobile division." But is Google ultimately laying the groundwork for something that Apple is poised to pick up and run with?
For several years, we've speculated that the growing sophistication of mobile iOS apps could one day be so advanced that mobile apps will be able to fully automate and control our vehicle through a docking station for our iPhones/iPads/iPads in futuristic hybrid vehicles. The app developers and engineers I've spoken with since news of Google's ambition broke tell me that the challenge ultimately isn't a technological one - it's a political obstacle.
Revising our highway transportation system to reflect the changes that such road-based technologies would ultimately demand make the likelihood of a big business for self-driven cars a long-shot. But should other states invest in the opportunities Google is trying to facilitate, we may one day be surprised by how far this effort will go.
Then again, fifty years ago people were talking about flying cars. Those folks - if they're still alive - are still waiting for that "inevitability."