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Tag: Waze

Uber – Google Driverless Cars: The End of Drivers?

Posted by J Powers at 12:35 PM on August 26, 2013

uberlogo[1]When I went to L.A. in July, I used Uber to travel back to the Airport. Of course, that was during rush hour, which is not a smart move. But the driver – an L.A. native – knew the shortcuts to get me from Venice Beach to LAX in a faster time.

So how would a driverless car do it?

Local independent transportation company Uber announced today they want to invest up to $375 million for 2,500 driverless cars from Google when they become available toward the end of the year. Their investment also included a commitment to share data with Google for the trips.

Google – who has been developing driverless cars since 2008 – just showed the GX3200 earlier this year at the Detroit Auto Show. The GX3200 is a four-person, 3 suitcase car with built-in Wifi and a charge that can get up to 750 miles.

For Uber, this could mean faster rollouts in cities they never planned to be a part of. Having 1-2 cars in towns with populations less than 10,000 is a reality. You don’t even a dispatcher living there, since the app takes care of the process.

Uber is in 24 cities in the U.S. – Just adding Honolulu last week – and 18 worldwide locations. Of course, major hurdles in some areas as labor unions petition this service and new regulations trying to shut down the Uber Taxi service.

Still, the question begs – do you want a driverless car? I would be more happy to have a car show up for me to get in and drive to my desired location. Having some control at this stage in the autonomous car period will make me feel safer.

With newer Google Maps – including the recently purchased and implemented Waze software (predictive software that finds alternate routes) – I could see a driverless car act just like my Uber driver from July.

Would you get into a driverless car?

Google goes its own Waze

Posted by Alan at 11:07 AM on June 11, 2013

waze logoAfter much rumor and speculation Google seems to have won the bidding war with Facebook (if there really was one) and pulled the trigger on a purchase of beloved mapping program Waze.

If you have never used Waze then you are missing out. The service takes what Google Maps already offers and adds a bit of social to it. There is real-time traffic data, users alerts on other problems (including speed traps) and much more.”To help you outsmart traffic, today we’re excited to announce we’ve closed the acquisition of Waze. This fast-growing community of traffic-obsessed drivers is working together to find the best routes from home to work, every day”, announces Google.

The Waze product development team will remain in Israel and operate separately for now, but Google plans to slowly integrate the service into its Google Maps.

Perhaps the result will be the most comprehensive service yet. It certainly has all of the markings of such. The power and money of Google could take this a long way.