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10 Questions for Google Chauffeur

Google's blog post "What we're driving at" announced that Google has "developed technology for cars to drive themselves." Google stated: "Larry and Sergey founded Google because they wanted to help solve really big problems using technology... Our goal is to help prevent traffic accidents, free up people's time and reduce carbon emissions..."

 

This project raises some interesting questions no one has asked Google yet.

 

  1. With 9.6% unemployment in the United States, is focusing on automating ~15 million Americans out of a job -- solving the right big problem facing our nation?
  2. Isn't "distracted driving" -- the top auto safety problem today? Will owners of Google Chauffered vehicles, who are ultimately responsible for what their vehicle does to others, be distracted by any Google advertising, videos, or services, while Google Chauffeur is doing the driving?
  3. Since Google is using automated Toyota Priuses, what lessons did Google learn from the recent Toyota safety debacle when software algorithms were examined as a possible culprit in alleged sudden acceleration accidents?
  4. What would be the acceptable accident rate for Google Chauffeur? And who will be liable for accidents deemed statistically acceptable? Would the DOT test and approve self-driving algorithms like the the FDA tests and approves drugs for safe use by the public?
  5. Or will Google Chauffeur follow Google's standard open source beta release practice and rely on the wisdom of crowds to test and find any bugs in the software in the field rather than releasing fully tested and safe software?
  6. Will Google practice "innovation without permission" and unleash open sourcers to innovate and (s)mash-up Google Chauffeur's software?
  7. Will Google assume its standard legal no liability stance with Google Chauffeur, and place liability solely on users that get in accidents, because it was their responsibility to only use software applications that they trust, and to not be distracted by Google services when they were supposed to be supervising Google Chauffeur?
  8. Is the real reason Google wants to automate driving is that Google does not want to continue to put Google StreetView drivers at risk from angry citizens who don't want Google video recording their homes and wardriving their WiFi addresses?
  9. Will Google integrate Google Chauffeur with Google Instant and rather than waiting for the human to complete instructions where they want to go, Google Chauffeur will immediately begin driving to where ever Google predicts the human wants to go or to where Google's top advertisers want the human to be routed?
  10. If Google was really interested in saving people time and being beloved, why didn't Google focus on automating the DMV first?
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