Google is one of the most inventive companies worldwide. Established in 1998 as a search engine, the company has grown its product and service portfolio to include some of the most innovative products the technology world has ever seen. Currently, the company’s android mobile operating system is the world’s leader in smartphone market share having surpassed Apple’s iOS, Windows Mobile and BlackBerry’s BlackBerry OS. Among the phone manufacturing companies using Google’s android include Samsung, HTC, Lenovo, LG and Sony among others. Although the company’s widely known products include Google Maps, android, Gmail, You Tube and the search engine Google.com and other related products such as Google Scholar and Google Books, the company has a plethora of other innovative products. Among these products is the revolutionary project of a self-driving car, Google TV, Google Street View, Google Analytics, Google Glass, Google Docs and Drive among others. The range of Google’s products are not only customer-centric, they are both user friendly and most are free.
The concept of a self-driving car puts Google the quintessence of innovation. While it has been viewed as a far-fetched idea (the self-driving car concept), Google has proven that indeed the idea is feasible having already tested several of its Toyota Prius self-driving cars (Levin, 2014). The cars come fitted with laser sensors, GPS and radar that help determine the position of the car as well as other objects within the proximity of the car. An important feature of the car is the beam laser fitted on top of the car. This device is responsible for the generation of comprehensive three-dimensional map of the surroundings. Combining the measurements gathered by the laser and peak resolution world maps, the car’s intelligent computers produce a diverse range of data models allowing the car to cruise itself through streets, highways and roads in tandem with traffic laws, while at the same time avoiding obstacles.
Fitted on the car are other feelers that enable the automobile to drive through streets with minimal accidents. These include radar fitted on the front and rear bumpers, allowing the car long-range views enabling it to handle fast traffic on highways, a camera on the rear-view mirror for traffic lights detection. Additionally, the car has a GPS, wheel encoder and an inaction measurement unit, which provide information on the car’s location in addition to keeping track of the cars movements. A detailed range of maps and real drivers’ data therefore assists the determination of the car position and the road terrain. This (data) is fed into the car’s system enabling it to not only use the data on the maps, but also synthesize the data provided by the real drivers, which enables the car to decipher between stationary objects and pedestrians.
Given the different behavior of drivers in the real world, the car has the capability of being more aggressive in the real world. Therefore, while the car will yield to other divers on the road, following traffic rules, it does move in cases when other drivers remain adamant in flaunting traffic rules. This way it informs the other drivers of its intentions. The absence of such programming in the car’s system would have made it impossible for the car’s movement in the real world, given that humans have a propensity to flaunt rules.
Among the advantages of the self-driving is the ability of the cars to diminish the amount of accidents on the roads, therefore making the roads much safer, and transportation more efficient. The cars react much faster than humans react, and would therefore be instrumental is saving lives. Furthermore, given that the cars can drive close to each other, they would better utilize road spaces on top of forming speedy processions on freeways.
Any hitch in the cars data reception and processing, however, would mean either grinding of the transportation system, or at worse, accidents. Moreover, most states do not allow the use of self-driving cars, with the exception of Nevada. The legal tussle to make the use of these cars legal is therefore a daunting task. Given the reliability of the car on data store in computers and therefore streamed over the internet, there is the risk of hackers taking control of the car (English, 2014).
An important ethical issue for the use of the car is the infringement of privacy, especially if data on where one has been, and at what speed they were driving is an important consideration (English, 2014). Since the car records all this information, it (the information) can be available to a number of people one would not want it to fall upon. These include bitter partners, insurance companies and authorities.
This is an application for web owners who want to know the traffic on their website. The application is usually installed on the browser and therefore records the user’s activity on a web page. Google Analytics provides website owners with a varied array of information, and for different purposes. This information includes the browser the page visitor is using, the platform they are running and web pages that they frequently on the website (Google Analytics, 2014).
The information collected by the code is then sent to Analytics server where processing is done. The statistics are collected through the cookie installed on the browser. The information collected can then be sent to the web owner who uses specialized software to turn this raw data into interactive reports (Google Analytics, 2014). Through the specialized software, the collected information is processed at regular intervals of a few hours. Google however, has Real Time data reports that make the data available in real time, although the information is usually not as detailed as data processed after a few hours.
Among the features of the product, include the integration with Google’s AdWords, in which the tracking of online campaigns is made possible for webmasters and sales executives. This allows the two to track the conversion and value of the landing page. The conversions in this case include downloading of a particular file from the website, visitors’ view of a particular page as well as sales. Additionally, Analytics also helps in the identification of poorly performing sites as well as tracking of sales action and performance (Google Analytics, 2014). It is also possible to know the approximate location of any visitor to the page via the tool.
Analytics is not only fixated on the web on the computers but can also be used on mobile website traffic. Therefore, given that, most people access the internet via their mobile devices, and that most organizations today run mobile websites, it is still possible to capture the traffic on mobile websites and therefore offer customer-centric services and web content.
A particular limitation of the tool is the ability of user to turn off cookie collection and the therefore stoppage of data collection. Most browsers today come with available plug-ins to block cookies. This therefore prevents the tool from gathering of data. The data that will be processed will therefore have holes given that the website was accessed at some location and was not tracked. It is also possible to erase cookies after an internet access session. With this data missing, the accuracy of the data collected by the tool will be in question given the unavailability of some data.
Google Analytics tracks the physical position of the individual users. While it may only be the approximate geographical location, it is already unethical that web owners know the location of the sites’ visitors. It is also possible that the cookies installed collect visitors’ personal information, browsing history as well as hidden visitors. This puts in question, the individual users’ privacy while browsing the web.
Google Analytics (2014). Features. Google Analytics.
Levin, D. (2014, January 10). Just how close to commercial reality is a self-driving car? CNN Money.
English, A. (2014, January 16). Autonomous cars-is this the end of driving? The Telegraph.