Never has a company generated such opinion in one month thanks to its cars. Well, they might have done in the automotive industry, but Google is the world’s largest search engine. It’s online. How can not one, but two cars affect its fortunes so much?
It’s all of Google’s own making. They portray themselves as a philanthropic company, investing countless billions to try and make the world a better place. Take their self-driving car, for instance – a prototype Toyota Prius (no time to look at Vauchall Astra deals and customise something stylish), laden with sensors and Street View technology to get people to their destination with little-to-no effort at all.
The company recently released a video showing a blind man called Steve Mahan making use of the car to drive around his local area and complete his chores, before delivering him safely home with his dry-cleaning in hand. Though no plans have yet been set in stone to make the self-driving Google car commercially available, the global press has lauded it as a phenomenon for disabled drivers and those lacking in confidence behind the wheel.
Its practical implications and technology are a breakthrough that could really make a huge difference to people’s lives. Rewind, though, to 2010, where Google denied harvesting people’s private data via unsecure WiFi networks when its Street View car went across the globe photographing every piece of scenery it could possibly find.
A lot of people weren’t happy at the time that their homes were being photographed, on display for all to see who made use of the search giant’s services. Fury followed though when the data allegations surfaced, with Google saying it was all a mistake. They promised to tighten up their practices, and that if there were any data breaches that they would never happen again.
A recent inquiry by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over in the US has concluded that Google may have been telling fibs. Their investigation has found that a programmer at the company created a code with the intention to “collect, store and review payload data for possible use in other Google projects”. He doesn’t appear to have been working alone, as Google has previously claimed. It’s alleged that the employee told two other Street View employees, and warned them of the software’s abilities.
So, whichever way you look at it, Google are either heroes that are leading the fight in helping the disabled drive around the country, or a sneaky company that is collecting the personal data of millions for its own ends. All thanks to two cars that they have essentially designed! From positive press one week to anger the next – it’s just another chapter in the story of Google.
Written by Thom Ott for SaveOnNewCars.co.uk, the UK’s leading supplier of new car deals, vans and automotive finance plans. They can provide fantastic Vauxhall Astra deals and amazing offers for other models, which are all UK-supplied vehicles with a full manufacturer warranty.