updated 02:30 pm EST, Mon November 14, 2011
Google X labs working on driverless car, more
Google has a secret facility that could lead to commercial uses of driverless cars and other high technology, sources uncovered late Sunday. According to a New York Times report, one such project involves a driverless car. An unnamed source said the car would be built in the US, and could be subsidized with ads that played in front of a driver for local businesses as they drive by.
Another, somewhat related undertaking at Google X involves robots. Robots could, for example, replace humans in the photographing of streets for Google Maps.
The Google X team includes Sebastian Thrun, one of the top robotics and artificial intelligence experts in the world. He is also a professor of computer science at Stanford and invented the world's first driverless car.
Andrew Ng is a colleague of Thrun's at Stanford and Google X. He applies neuroscience to artificial intelligence to teach robots and machines to behave like people. Johnny Chung Lee was hired away after a stint at Microsoft where he worked on Kinect. At Google X he is working on the Web of things and holds the rapid evaluator title.
Google co-founder Larry Page said back in July that the projects, now known to be attached to Google X, are a small portion of the company's work and the company is careful with shareholders' money.