Autonomous Cars, Robots & More: A Look at Google’s Future Plans

Google is also working in the field of autonomous mobility with its Waymo project.

Published
Tech and Auto
4 min read

Cameraperson: Athar Rather
Video Editor:
Vivek Gupta

A journey that started in 1998 has made Google establish itself as a multi-billion-dollar company in 2020.

Today, Google is considered to be a pillar of innovation and development. But what’s next? What do the brilliant minds at Google have in store for us in the next five, maybe 10 years?

At first, I thought I’ll consult a fortune teller but realised that’s just too millennial. So, to find the answer, I went to the same person I go always! Google.

Google is the data king, so it’s obvious that it’ll keep developing its services like Maps, Gmail and even its search engine. Since most people are turning to voice for search it will be difficult for Google to push out ads and get more revenue but that’s exactly why it’s not keeping all of its eggs in one basket.

So, let’s focus on some of the other stuff we see Google’s future in.

Mobility

Google has been working on driverless cars for a while now. Its Waymo project is spearheading the entire autonomous mobility division.

We have already seen Waymo cars on the roads being tested in California and Google’s making sure that funding keeps pouring into Waymo for further R&D.

Yes, driverless cars are the future, which is why even Elon Musk is pushing for the same. According to Morgan Stanley, Waymo could be worth upwards of $70 Bn by 2030.

Since Google has a massive data bank and loads of AI backing its venture, don’t be surprised if Google gets the world's first legal driverless car officially on public roads.

Something that Tesla has been struggling at. Google also has its hands deep in shared mobility space and we have seen that with Google’s self-riding bike!

That’s the bike of the future, people!

Serious Hardware

Google has been striving to amplify the reach of its hardware portfolio. From its Pixel smartphones to the Chromebook, Google has big plans to get a Google device to every internet user on the planet.

There’s a catch to it, you see. More Google device users mean more data for Google and like I told you before, data is the new oil.

For this, Google might also make its devices cheaper in the future. So, a Pixel phone might be as cheap as a Xiaomi 5-10 years later.

Remember Google Glass? Yes, it was an epic failure, but Google hasn’t given up on it. Likewise, Project Ara, Google’s modular phone and Project Tango for 3D mapping are some lost jewels Google is looking to restart work on.

Despite setbacks, most of these “temporarily delayed’ projects are sure to make a comeback in the future as many people are still hungover on the concept of a modular smartphone.

Google is also working in the field of space exploration via its Lunar XPRIZE project where it is inviting inventors to come up with space exploration solutions.

If this project flies, we may see Google battling SpaceX for NASA contracts in the future.

X By Google

Very few people are aware that Google’s parent company Alphabet is running a sort of a secret division called X where it’s working on tech for the future.

Project Waymo is a product of X! Some of the projects that X is currently working on are Project Loom where Google plans to get internet to remote areas using balloons. Then there’s Project Laara whereby using a beam of light Google plans to transmit high-speed internet. This project is currently being tested in India.

There’s also an ambitious autonomous drone delivery project called Wings, and Google Glass enterprise edition is also in the works.

So, there’s no doubt you’ll see plenty of these amazing innovations from Google’s R&D division pop up in the next 5-10 years.

Robotics and AI

Heard of Boston Dynamics? Yeah, the same company that has made the crazy robots.

Google owned Boston Dynamics for quite a while until it sold it to Softbank. Many questioned that move since Google has been touted to be a big player in robotics for the future but now Google has shifted focus to a separate division called Robotics at Google, which is focusing on merging IoT with machines.

Also, Meka, Bot & Dolly and Redwood Robotics are some Alphabet-owned companies that are currently working in the field of robotics under Google’s supervision.

Clearly, it’s making machines for the future. Not only that, since 2009, Google has also acquired almost 30 AI start-ups, which means the company is going all guns blazing in AI for the future.

Other Crazy Stuff

Google's Advanced Technology and Projects group or ATAP is working on some future tech like a mini radar via Project Soli that detects motion which we have already seen in the Google Pixel 4. You'll see more of it in the coming days.

It is also weaving wires and tech into fabrics! Something like in the movie The Tuxedo! Not that’s cutting edge but still pretty cool.

Google could be a big player in high-tech garments if something like this becomes a hit with the customers. Google’s future is mostly going to be about its search engine and its services like Gmail and YouTube.

Since Google is such a big company that has more money than God, it’s experimenting in various departments, which means we can see more mainstream services and products from Google in the future.

Whether it’ll be autonomous mobility or high-speed internet is something we’ll get to see in the future.

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