What does the release of Google's driverless car mean?
In general, German parts makers and vehicle makers are more conservative, talking more about the concept of driver assistance than driverless, perhaps fearing that the steps will be too big.
Well, there's actually a reason why we all mention that driverless technology is immature, the law isn't sound, and the concept of assisted driving can circumvent that, anyway, I'm an auxiliary, what's going on or the driver's pocket...
In addition, the technology used by Google is so far completely unavailable for mass production to the vehicle manufacturers. The lidar they use, which was previously going for $18,000, saw the news this year that the cost was reduced to $12,000. But this is still astronomical compared to other sensors like radar and cameras that cost tens to a couple hundred dollars. And based on this high-precision LiDAR driverless, there are actually many research institutions around the world can do, like the University of Parma in Italy, the University of Karlsruhe and the Free University of Berlin in Germany, the universities that have participated in darpa in the United States, and not only Google. Nowadays, many research directions are actually using other low-cost sensors to achieve the accuracy requirements of driverless by some sensor fusion techniques. The only driverless car that doesn't use HD LIDAR I've seen so far is the Mercedes berth, check out the video if you're interested. There's a demo video showing a Mercedes driverless car retracing a journey from Mannheim to a city to demonstrate the car back when Mercedes had just invented it. A colleague who worked on this project during his PhD spilled the beans that while Mercedes claims that all the sensors used are currently mass-producible, they don't say how powerful and expensive the processors used behind them are. From this, the technical side alone has a ways to go before driverless gets to mass production.
Google's biggest strength I personally think is their mapping information, this could be of great use in driverless.
Also, they are not bad at money and can do R&D regardless of cost, this is something we are worse at our company, our research department is more crummy and more focused on specific product development departments rather than research departments that do not bring in direct revenue.
Third, the artificial intelligence needed for driverless this piece, the world is almost all learn the United States, so Google can find the most top talent in this field, the development of the product may have a certain technical advantage. However, as one answer mentioned, Google's most direct competitors should be the spare parts suppliers, and the car manufacturers will not use products from only one supplier in order to keep the price down, so they will purchase products from different companies if there is not much difference in technology. For example, BMW's i3 uses a camera from mobileye (a company that has recently become famous in the field of assisted driving) in Israel, and the Seven Series uses one from our company. Of course, if Google can even do the whole car factory Mercedes-Benz BMW audi is another thing, Germany as a country economically to be reduced to Spain Italy stream.
Summary. Google is not really at the point of being a one-hit wonder in this field, it's just that they do a better job of promoting it. It's hard to say exactly what the future holds.