New York Times: Google Cars Drive Themselves, in Traffic: they can transform society as profoundly as the Internet has ..... Robot drivers react faster than humans, have 360-degree perception and do not get distracted, sleepy or intoxicated ..... more than 37,000 people died in car accidents in the United States in 2008 ...... the technology could double the capacity of roads by allowing cars to drive more safely while closer together ..... the company’s ambitions reach beyond the search engine business ....... The project is the brainchild of Sebastian Thrun, the 43-year-old director of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, a Google engineer and the co-inventor of the Street View mapping service. ...... deployment of the technology more than eight years away. .... Under current law, a human must be in control of a car at all timesThis is an entrepreneur having turned a company into one big incubator. If you think about it, Google is one big incubator. The founders did the work on the search engine - and it was pretty fundamental - but then they, as a company, have been smart about laying out the vision, and going out there and finding the top people in their respective fields, hiring them, and giving them the resources to go do their thing.
Pretty much all breakthroughs from Google this past decade have followed that path. Looks like you don't have to sell or leave the company you started, or retire, to be able to do the incubation, venture capital thing. This is the corporation as an organism.
What's next? I wish Google were in a position to do something fundamental in clean tech, but it is not. Energy is not a software problem.