Google has announced its latest technology project, a self-driving racing car. Sergey Brin wrote on the Google blog that the company has partnered with NASCAR to bring Google Racing to the world. The campaign includes a post on the Google blog, the Google Google+ page and NASCAR Google+ page, a video on the NASCAR site, and a dedicated microsite, Google.com/racing.
Sergey Brin explains the thinking behind the new Racing project…
“We think the most important thing computers can do in the next decade is to drive cars—and that the most important thing Google Racing can do in the next decade is drive them, if possible, more quickly than anyone else. Or anything else. The program remains in its infancy; we’ll surely face numerous testing and competitive hurdles before our first car peels out into a NASCAR race. But I couldn’t be more excited about the possibilities. NASCAR’s ambitious technology investments—from driver safety to green initiatives—and the sport’s spirit of challenge, effort and execution all beautifully embody our most deeply held values as a company. Having skidded around a parking lot last week myself, I’m pretty sure that none of those test miles were as hard as it will be for one of our cars to hold its own in a field of 43 jacked-up, 800-horsepower beasts screaming down a straightaway within inches of each other at upwards of 200 miles per hour. I can’t imagine a more exciting challenge for our team than to race our autonomous vehicles against their carbon-based competitors.”
“Larry and I have always believed in tackling big problems that matter, and we’re surer than ever that self-driving cars are one of them, capable of changing the world in all kinds of truly important ways, like reducing traffic and accidents by driving more efficiently, making correct split-second decisions and never shifting their focus off the road to check a map, text a friend, apply rear-view mirror mascara or dip a piece of tekka maki into a lid of soy sauce jostling over on the passenger seat. I hope that today’s announcement of Google Racing will mark another step along this path, and spur innovations that improve the daily lives of people all over the world. Or at the very least offer us a few cool new thrills on hot weekend afternoons.”