Recently Google CEO Larry Page sat down with Fortune Magazine for a little interview. The first topic that came up was self-driving cars. Larry sees this as a huge “economic good” by saving millions of dollars on parking. He wasn’t just talking about the cost of just parking the car, but actually building garages. Right now the cost of building a parking garage is upwards of $40,000 per space. Larry envisions a self-driving car dropping you at the front door to the building you work at and then it would park itself. When you’re ready to leave, your phone will tell your car that it’s time to head back and get you.
As to Apple, they are both a competitor and a partner, and he said they he and Steve Jobs were friendly at times. He talked about the time that Steve Jobs tried to rally Apple employees by wanting to go thermonuclear war on Android. Larry doesn’t agree with that philosophy because it causes the employees to look at “somebody else” and what they do now and that’s not how you stay two or three steps ahead. He also talked about how Apple is a big distribution channel and they continue to talk to them to continue to provide those services and sometimes they are allowed to and sometimes they aren’t.
As to a Motorola Nexus device, he said there was no way they could have released such a device yet because they haven’t owned the company long enough. When he was asked how they will decide when to do a Motorola Nexus and what they will tell other partners, he dodged it by talking about why Nexus devices exists:
I think there’s a lot of complexity in that question. Maybe I’ll talk more generally about that area.
The right way to think about it is how do we get amazing products into users’ hands in the most cost-effective, highest quality way possible and to the most people. That’s what we do as a business, and that’s what we’ve done with Android.
Part of the reason why we’ve done Nexus devices in the past is that we want to build an amazing device that kind of showcases what’s possible on Android, gives a way for the programmers to get early builds, does a whole bunch of things that are important. Exactly what we do, which devices we do, what the timing is, how we release the software with them, all those things have been changing.
Every day we kind of evaluate how do we help our partners out the right way, how do we produce amazing innovative devices, and how do we get those out, and how do we get that innovation into the ecosystem and into the hands of as many people as possible, and how do we keep our partners happy. I think we’ve done a pretty good job of that so far.
If Motorola could get the inside track to updating their devices quickly, they wouldn’t need to be part of the Nexus program. If the Nexus devices get updates a few days after they announce updates, and Motorola devices were to get updated a week later, I would be good with that. That might be wishful thinking, but ultimately if every device updated quickly, Nexus devices would be a non issue.