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Transportation AI Google

Is Google CEO's "Tiny Bubble Car" Yahoo CEO's "Little Bubble Car"? 190

Posted by timothy
from the otherwise-would-have-been-huge-and-square-I-guess dept.
theodp (442580) writes "Back in 2011, then-Google VP and now-Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer brainstormed with BMW to sketch out an idea she had for self-driving 'little bubbles' that could ease office commutes. Here's Mayer's pitch from a BMW film short: 'All I really need is a little bubble that drives itself and when it runs into something, it doesn't hurt that much...and...you know, like it doesn't actually take up that much fuel because it's so lightweight and it's good for the environment for that reason.' So, with Google's newly-built, steering wheel-less self-driving car being described as a 'tiny bubble-car', one wonders if Google CEO Larry Page's "Tiny Bubble Car" has its roots in Mayer's 'Little Bubble Car,' especially considering the striking similarity of Mayer's concept car sketch and Google's built vehicle." Seems to me there's been plenty of concept art (as well as actual tiny bubble-like cars, even if they generallly have had steering wheels) for car designers to draw on.
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Is Google CEO's "Tiny Bubble Car" Yahoo CEO's "Little Bubble Car"?

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  • Cardiff (Score:3, Interesting)

    by johnsie (1158363) on Sunday June 01, 2014 @01:49PM (#47141953)
    Cardiff city in Wales were planning to have driverless taxis. The project was cancelled though because committees. http://www.theguardian.com/bus... [theguardian.com]
  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Sunday June 01, 2014 @02:00PM (#47142021)

    why can't google and everyone else support public transportation?

    I like public transportation to some degree, but self-driving cars are WAY more useful.

    They could really get anyone from anywhere, to anywhere. With public transport you might have to arrange a few transfers, defiantly have to figure out how to get to a pickup location. And it may not go very close to where you want to go.

    But a self-driving car solves all those issues. If you think longer term, you could even have self-driving public transports that took a group of people going to roughly the same place to where they wanted to go with a few stops along the way.

    So getting self driving cars working helps public transport as much as private transport...

  • by artfulshrapnel (1893096) on Sunday June 01, 2014 @02:25PM (#47142157)

    I mean, the short list? Off the top of my head this solves problems like:

    - Public transit only becomes economically viable above certain volumes. Anyone in too small an area doesn't have access to it and never will.
    - Sometimes public transit doesn't run where you want it to go, especially if you need to make an unusual trip.
    - Sometimes people need to go places at times when public transit isn't running, or need to go faster than public transit will allow.
    - Some people are disabled, and would have a hard time getting to the nearest public transit stop even in an area that supports it.

    There are lots of reasons why this is a useful solution. So many people in my city (Boston) keep a car that they use about once a week for odd or off-hours trips. A solution like this would take all those cars off the side of the road and replace them with about 1/20th the number of shared cars.

The meat is rotten, but the booze is holding out. Computer translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."

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