Google continues to drive new business models with smart cars

Here's a scary thought: Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), which has made untold billions upon billions of dollars driving people to Internet sites and which hopes to do the same driving people to TV channels via Google TV, is "hard at work ... road-testing cars that are driven by artificial intelligence software, not humans."

If the search engine giant has its way, it would not only control how you get to Internet sites or TV channels but even how you get to the grocery store. Google's smart cars have reportedly traveled 140,000 miles on major California roads in the San Francisco and Los Angeles areas where they've used video cameras, radar sensors and lasers to navigate through the smog and among all the other stopped vehicles caught in traffic jams.

And here's an even scarier thought. The cars are supposedly manned by "trained software engineers who can take over in case of a problem." That is, if these same engineers aren't busy texting or using their Google connections to watch cable programming. Google, which reportedly has $30 billion in cash reserves and no plans to buy NBC Universal with the money, can afford to tempt road rage.

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