There is always-uber cool stuff at the annual Frankfurt auto show. But there is no Google car for sale. Philipp Justus, the managing director for Google’s central and eastern Europe operations, says don’t look for one anytime soon.
Google got some attention when it hired a real-life car executive to oversee its self-driving car project. But Justus declared in an interview at the auto show that that doesn’t mean the company will be building cars. Likely, it will partner with existing car makers.
That’s a distinction without a difference. As we enter the age of the Internet of Things, everything from toasters to town homes is going to come with an operating system. In many cases, we’ll be buying cyber-enabled stuff where the hardware and software are built by different companies.
That’s a big deal. The Internet of Things promises great possibilities with machines that plug us into the cyber universe. But those devices will also raise all kinds of safety, security and privacy concerns.
So “systems integration,” the process that binds all the bits and pieces together, is going to be the most important part of making new things. We’ll want engineers, software designers, and manufacturers to pull all this stuff together in a way that delivers all the benefits and none of the downside of surfing cyberspace.
Good luck, Google.