Google Study Essay

3093 words - 13 pages

A (Very) Small Sampling of Google Products
Ben Thompson
INFO331 Google Case Study

A (Very) Small Sampling of Google Products
To say that Google is a large business is a gross understatement. The word “Google” has become synonymous with online searches, even though there are other search engines that exist. The search engine may be the most popular and well known aspect of the Google brand, yet the company is involved in so many different business endeavors ranging from self-driving vehicles to online analytics. A significant portion of research conducted at Google is geared towards products and services other than the well-known search and advertising functions. Google has released ...view middle of the document...

Three states (Florida, California and Nevada) have already passed laws allowing this auto pilot technology. The major roadblock that the technology is facing is the fact that there are so many unanswered questions. Regulators want to know how the technology works and what the limitations are before allowing it to become widespread. Nobody is questioning the benefits of the technology, only how safe it will actually be. Regulators believe that the technology can significantly increase the efficiency of the roads by helping reduce traffic jams and other problems. They are eager to see how the technology can help reduce human error and make roads safer.
Another added benefit that comes with the automatic driving capabilities is that the vehicles know the roadways and shortcuts. Since the vehicles are automatic, they also follow the rules of the road better than humans do. Ashlee Vance wrote an article talking about seeing self-driving cars around her neighborhood and she states that these vehicles actually make human drivers worse (Vance 2013). She states that other drivers are so intrigued by these vehicles that they stare and gawk rather than paying attention to the roads. She concedes that this is a small price to pay for the progress that is on the horizon, and it can be speculated that this interest will die down once the technology becomes widespread and is no longer a new phenomenon.
The self-driving vehicle is a reality now and it is highly unlikely that the idea will disappear. The benefits are too great for the technology to be discarded. Regulators realize the potential for the massive upswing in traffic safety and consumers are both intrigued by the idea and many already know how it would benefit them. There are just too many ways that this technology will benefit people. There is more testing to be done, but with three states already allowing these vehicles on the road, it will not be long before self-driving vehicles are a common occurrence for everyone to see.
From Cars to Maps: Google Maps
Most people own some variation of a GPS. It might be on a stand-alone device or a cell phone, and there are those that refuse to give up their paper maps. The fact of the matter is that everyone uses one form of mapping device or another to figure out where they are going or where something is. One of the first internet mapping sites that people started using was MapQuest. Google took things a step further when they introduced Google Maps. Once again with this technology, Google did things a little differently than anybody else had ever thought.
MapQuest was one of the first online mapping sites that provides driving directions and aerial images. MapQuest was originally launched in 1996 and basically set the original standard for online maps and directions. Technically MapQuest is still the most popular interface still on the web with roughly 40 million users per month (Null 2010). Google Maps was originally released in 2005 and quickly...

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