Automated cars will be a big source of revenue for google. The cars will be in constant communication with google's datacenters to provide mapping data - not just GPS street coordinates, but detailed imagery and geometry from lidar captured previously by the Street View cars - plus road conditions gleaned in real time from tens of thousands of cars (down to the level of street light timing a few intersections ahead on your path). Google may or may not produce any cars themselves, but all the automakers will license their data streams. How many other companies have gathered street-level lidar and imagery on practically every street in the world and have the datacenters to process and serve it globally in real-time?
I agree with you that automated cars are likely to be a source of revenue but there a huge slip between the cup and the lip, and the fact is that while these are good bets the surety that they will be profitable and financially sustainable is definitely not guaranteed!
It's clear from the story, that UCP1 and UCP3 would give them an unfair advantage!
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