It is often said that hindsight is 20/20 vision, meaning that anyone can see the path after making the turn on the right road. When it comes to driverless cars, self-driving cars, autonomous vehicles, etc., however you choose to define them, Google has been trying its best to work with current car automakers in an effort to bring its latest futuristic idea to the market with the goal of achieving mass adoption quickly.
But, the road to mass adoption hasn’t proven easy for the search engine giant. Right after Google’s driverless cars took center stage, a number of car manufacturers started railing against the idea. Many voiced their fears about fully autonomous vehicles that wouldn’t require human intervention in the car-driving process. At that point, Google was told that its driverless cars would be forced to adhere to certain state traffic laws: that is, drivers will need to be licensed in, specifically, driving the new vehicles (separate certification from current cars). While this is an understandable mandate for state traffic regulations, it shows that technology is not always met with the “green light” companies dream about.
Apparently, Google has more than just hindsight, but foresight, as new documents show that Google has the upper hand when it comes to the war between carmakers and its new invention: the Mountain View, California search engine giant has owned its own auto company, called Google Auto, since late 2011. Google currently has 23 Lexus vehicles registered with the California DMV, and all 23 vehicles are under the Google Auto label. With Google’s decision to cooperate with current carmakers, the only explanation behind Google Auto seems to be the company’s decision to create a separate entity in case the venture failed.
However, Google Auto could very well prove a valuable blessing in disguise, because under the Google Auto label, the company could very well produce its own line of fully autonomous vehicles with no front seat (a plan that current carmakers despise). Google co-CEO Sergey Brin has also gone on record as saying that he is an advocate of state-sponsored transportation, and that Google would like to provide car insurance for its driverless car buyers in the future. The company has recently worked to provide its own wireless carrier for Nexus 6 users, so creating an automotive company wouldn’t seem far from probable. Perhaps Google Auto as its own company has been the plan from the start.