January 20, 2013

Cisco vs Google Self-Driving Cars

The two different approaches taken for self-driving cars by Google and Cisco.

Google’s self-driving cars operate completely autonomously – just like cars are driven today. The car senses its environment and drives accordingly. There is no dependency on comm links to nearby cars or to a central controller and no need for an always-on Internet connection. This is an important point as it allows the car to operate anywhere and allow self-driving cars to be deployed any time (without the requirement that other cars on the road include similar technology).

In other words, a practical technology that can actually be put to work. You can already see Google’s self-driving cars being tested in real-world conditions.

Google self-driving cars will surely include GPS, Internet connection and other external comm links but with no requirements that all cars on the road have the same technology.

Google self-driving car provides a complete experience.

Cisco’s ambition is to create an Internet-of-Cars with Cisco providing the networking equipment for such communication. The Internet-of-Cars requires car-to-car and car-to-road networks to ensure that each car can drive safely. The networks for these Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) will be based on the 802.11p standard. Cisco’s investment in Cohda Wireless is a step in this direction.

A lot of investment, time and change.

Google’s approach is simpler and will get self-driving cars on the road a lot faster. Google’s self-driving car tests can already be seen in real world conditions.

With Cisco’s current approach, Cisco will have to wait for a much longer time to be a meaningful part of this market.

Tags: cisco vs google self-driving cars, cisco 802.11p, cisco car networks, cisco intelligent transport systems, self-driving car approach