Anthony J. Pennings, PhD

WRITINGS ON DIGITAL STRATEGIES, ICT ECONOMICS, AND GLOBAL COMMUNICATIONS

Google: Monetizing the Automatrix

Posted on | October 18, 2010 | No Comments

Google recently announced its work on a driverless car to mixed reviews. While apparently a technical success, with only one mishap in 140,000 miles of testing, others felt that Google was losing its focus. I think this latter view underestimates the Google strategy – to monetize the road.

As we move towards the “Automatrix,” the newly forming digital environment for transportation, Google looks to situate its search/advertising business at its center.

Let’s face it; the car is almost synonymous with shopping and consumerism. Whether going to the mall to buy some new shoes, picking up groceries, or going out to look for a new washing machine – the car transports both our bodies and our booty. Nothing in the fridge? Drive out to nearest Applebee, Dennys, or Olive Garden for some nachos and diet coke. Got kids? Try the drive-in for a Happy Meal or some Chuck E. Cheese’s pizza after a day at the water park. You get the point: have car, will spend. It’s American.

Google, who wants to organize the world’s information, clearly sees your car as a major generator of that data and the car occupants as major traffic generators – the good kind of traffic – on the web, not the road. They want the passenger to focus on the navigation, not the road. They want to provide destinations, stops, places to rest and refresh. The car will provide the movement while “the fingers do the walking,” to draw on a famous Yellow Pages ad. While AC Nielsen, famous for its ratings business, has championed the three screen advertising measurement (TV, PC, mobile phone), you could say is Google is going for a four-screen strategy: PC, mobile, TV, and now the dashboard. Talk about a captured audience! It has the potential to pay off big, adding billions more to Google’s bottom line by tying passengers to the web.

Can driving through downtown Newark, sitting at a light, or leaving a movie theater parking lot, really compete with the latest user-generated video on YouTube? As you drive to the airport, wouldn’t you rather be making dinner reservations or checking out entertainments at your flight destination. No, Route 66 is going to be route66.com because, well, Pops Restaurant bought the ad word and you would rather be enjoying a coke and burger anyway.

Actually, I’m all for computers driving my car, as long as they are doing it for other drivers as well. Yes, I enjoy the occasional thrill of driving and probably more, the relaxing feel from the directed focus of the activity. But really I prefer looking out the window, listening to music, and even reading a book. GPS has already come to rescue me from the travel maps as I now need reading glasses to see them anyway. Besides, the road is dangerous. It’s really scary passing that zigzagging car because the driver is zoning out in a conversation with his ex-wife or some teenager is texting the girl he has a crush on.

Sure, I have mixed feelings about sliding into the Automatrix. Taking over the steering wheel seems like a bit of a stretch, even for Moore’s Law modern day microprocessors. It will require a whole new framework for car safety testing. But its been over 40 years since they guided the Apollo spacecraft to Moon, so it makes sense to replace the current system of haphazard meat grinders we currently use.

Google, you can drive my car.

Share

© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED



AnthonybwAnthony J. Pennings, PhD is the Professor of Global Media at Hannam University in South Korea. Previously, he taught at St. Edwards University in Austin, Texas and was on the faculty of New York University from 2002-2012. He also taught at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand and was a Fellow at the East-West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii during the 1990s.

Comments

Comments are closed.

  • Referencing this Material

    Copyrights apply to all materials on this blog but fair use conditions allow limited use of ideas and quotations. Please cite the permalinks of the articles/posts.
    Citing a post in APA style would look like:
    Pennings, A. (2015, April 17). Diffusion and the Five Characteristics of Innovation Adoption. Retrieved from http://apennings.com/characteristics-of-digital-media/diffusion-and-the-five-characteristics-of-innovation-adoption/
    MLA style citation would look like: "Diffusion and the Five Characteristics of Innovation Adoption." Anthony J. Pennings, PhD. Web. 18 June 2015. The date would be the day you accessed the information. View the Writing Criteria link at the top of this page to link to an online APA reference manual.

  • About Me

    Professor and Associate Chair at State University of New York (SUNY) Korea. Recently taught at Hannam University in Daejeon, South Korea. Moved to Austin, Texas in August 2012 to join the Digital Media Management program at St. Edwards University. Spent the previous decade on the faculty at New York University teaching and researching information systems, media economics, and strategic communications.

    You can reach me at:

    anthony.pennings@gmail.com
    anthony.pennings@sunykorea.ac.kr

    Follow apennings on Twitter

  • Traffic Feed

  • Recent Posts

  • Pages

  • RSS CNN.com – RSS Channel – App Tech Section

    • Untitled
      It's been five years since NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover landed on the red planet on August 6, 2012. The rover survived the much-publicized "seven minutes of terror" and safely landed near Mount Sharp. The rover accomplished its main goal in less than a year, collecting a rock sample that shows ancient Mars could supported living […]
    • Japan is building the fastest supercomputer in the world
      Japan is building the world's fastest supercomputer, which it hopes will make the country the new global hub for artificial intelligence research.
    • Untitled
      Ingrem, a Chinese company has created the "husband pod," an arcade booth intended to stave off boredom for men who accompany their partners to the mall.
    • Untitled
      Scientists have figured out how to grow organs from skin cells. CNN's Rachel Crane explores a lab that is using this technique to revolutionize cancer treatments.
    • Untitled
      A security robot named Steve plunged down four steps into a fountain in Washington, leading to its watery demise.
  • August 2017
    M T W T F S S
    « Jul    
     123456
    78910111213
    14151617181920
    21222324252627
    28293031  
  • Crossword of the Day

  • Disclaimer

    The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of my employers, past or present.