TTAC has learned that Google is shutting down its car shopping service, which existed only in beta form for San Francisco Bay Area shoppers. Visitors to the site have received a message stating
“The Google San Francisco Bay Area car search beta program has been discontinued as we focus on building the next version of our experience for car-related searches. Stay tuned for more news!”
Google previously tweaked their new car search in late 2013, allowing users to see results on the main search page. TTAC had previously touted Google Cars as a potentially disruptive car shopping tool, though dealers apparently had some reservations about the way their inventory and pricing was displayed (namely a lack of differentiation among different stores), as well as the higher cost of leads.
One can only wonder what’s next for Google.
Google is planning a national roll out of their new car shopping service sometime in early 2014, and dealers are preparing themselves – with varying degrees of enthusiasm.
The notion of the crossroads as a sacred place is older than Robert Johnson, older than the blues, older than the automobile or the Romans who laid the first large-scale transportation network. The crossroads contains possibilities, changes, choices. It is where the gods live and the demons dwell. Soon, that may be almost literally true.
nutty pseudo-utopian autonomous car project faced a reality check at a legal symposium sponsored by the Law Review and High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University. Among the challenges raised were the prospect of insuring such a car, and whether the car would be able to stop for law enforcement or construction workers.
No, that’s not a Google Street View Prius being piloted down the 101. The roof-top device is Lidar, part of the sensors that allow it to drive by itself. Perhaps out of a desire to solve a problem they helped create (texting, mobile web use, etc.), Google has come ever closer to perfecting autonomous cars. NY Times reports that Google has a fleet of seven cars plying the highways and streets of California, with paid “sitters” behind the wheel to confirm that everything is ok, as well as to conform with CA law.The cars have driven up to 1,000 miles without any human intervention, even down twisting Lombard Street, and have racked up 140k total driver-less miles. The only incident so far was someone rear ending one of the Priuses at a red light. All we need now is for judges to mandate them for lousy drivers. (Read More…)