What To Expect This Week At Google I/O

Google I/O Google is "gearing up" for its annual developer conference this week, Google I/O. On Wednesday, there will be a two-hour keynote to be delivered or emceed by Android and Chrome SVP Sundar Pichai. We'll be there. Based on an array of rumors, we expect to see and hear a number of hardware and software announcements. Here's a non-exhaustive roundup of what some of those might include. Android Wear Smartwatches Android Wear was previously announced, but we expect to see a number of watches finally on display. Devices from Motorola and LG should be among those being shown off at the event, [...]

Look Ma, No Steering Wheel In Google’s New Self-Driving Cars

Google self-driving car prototype It now seems inevitable that self-driving cars will become mainstream in the next 25 years. And Google is largely responsible. While other companies have comparable technology, Google has the visibility and cultural sway to push the notion effectively. Today, the company revealed that it had built and would be "releasing" its own car prototypes. They look like a Pixar Animation Studios spin on the Fiat 500: We’re now exploring what fully self-driving vehicles would look like by building some prototypes; they’ll be designed to operate safely and autonomously without requiring human inte [...]

Coming To Google: Click On Ad, Get Free Ride To Merchant Or Restaurant?

Google self-driving car logo The day may be near when AdWords advertisers can offer customers immediate transportation to bring them to their locations right from an ad.  Google has been awarded the patent for "Transportation-aware physical advertising conversions" US 8630897 B1 which essentially allows advertisers to show a sort-of transportation ad extension offering free or discounted travel to their stores. A hair salon could include free or discounted transportation in its ads displayed during lunch hour to nearby office parks. Or as in Google's own example illustrated below, a restaurant could offer a lunch offe [...]

California Governor Brown To Sign Autonomous Vehicle Law At Google Today

Google self-driving car logo California is about to become the third state in the US with legislation designed to explicitly allow autonomous vehicles to be tested. California Governor Jerry Brown will sign the new law today at Google's headquarters in Mountain View. Yesterday afternoon, on Google's video channel, I noticed a new live stream page that went up saying that Google cofounder Sergey Brin would be interviewing Brown on the Google campus. For what? That wasn't stated. Later that day, the Governor's office sent out a notice that Brown would be signing legislation at Google. What legislation wasn't revea [...]

Nevada Approves Google Auto-Driving Cars, Issues “AU” Plates With Infinity Symbol

google-car-featured Forget it, Las Vegas Strip. Move over Area 51. Perhaps cruising up the Extraterrestrial Highway will be Nevada's latest tourist attraction, Google auto-driving cars sporting new autonomous vehicle license plates. Google has been working to get official approval to test its self-driving cars in several US states. They've operated in California, where so far they've been deemed legal by existing laws. But Nevada just became the first state to give official sanction to testing such vehicles. Approval To Test, Supervision Still Required This doesn't mean that the cars will be out there drivin [...]

Blind Man Is First “Driver” Of Google’s Self-Driving Car & Why It Was Legal

driver 1 Google posted an amazing video of one of its self-driving cars taking a blind man for a drive. What was remarkable to me was that it's the first time I've ever seen one of these cars in operation with a non-Google employee behind the wheel. It also raised some issues about whether the trip was legal. Yes, says the police department that helped arrange it. Can Cars Legally Drive Themselves? The legality of self-driving cars in California, where Google first started testing them, is unclear. When news of the cars first came to light in 2010, the New York Times summarized: “The technology [...]

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