From content to cars

Not content with dominating the online world, now Google seems determined to take over the real one

It�s a logical progression: build a search engine, make said search engine indispensible to just about everyone (and turn it into a cultural phenomenon into the bargain), keep tweaking the search criteria to ensure everyone � particularly content creators � continues to be reliant on you, diversify into other content-related fields (create a mapping system, buy the most popular video-sharing site and watch it go from strength to strength), attempt to put a young whippersnapper (let�s call it Facebook) in its place by creating your own social network, get mobile with the Android, do a few other cool things like creating �Terminator-style glasses�, causing a few privacy concerns and finally assuring your technical, technological and social pre-eminence and position as undisputed ruler of the 21st century by transforming the foremost industry of the 20th century and making cars. That drive by themselves. Without people.

Yep, in little more than a decade, Google has gone from content collation (or, as it put it at the time, organising �the world�s information and make it universally accessible and useful�) to cars, with the announcement that the US state of Nevada has issued Google with the world�s first licence to test self-driving cars on public roads.

The project has been around since 2010, when it was launched as a �technical experiment� and featured a legally blind man behind the wheel. But it�s now being taken to the next level, complete with red number plates and an infinity symbol to show that this is the vehicle of the future.

Hey, who cares about privacy when you can make a car that drives itself, right? Or are we all about to be blinded by technology?


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