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A blog a day for May and cars without drivers...

In the spirit of a 30 day challenge, I'm going to try and write a blog a day for the next 30 days.

I've neglected the blog a little bit over the past few months while concentrating on all the important stuff of getting dataGO pointed in the right direction and thriving.

Well thriving it is, and there is definitely no shortage of topics SIM card and startup related to cover in a nice casual blog format that will hopefully be interesting and of use to some people out there who come across this.

I’ve actually just spent the past week doing a mountain of really cool and interesting stuff as a participant in the Advance Innovation Program over here in San Francisco/Silicon Valley.

One of the most interesting things, which wasn’t part of our formal Advance itinerary, was an excursion to Stanford and the Google campus out at Mountain View before the 3 day Summit kicked off. We had the morning at Stanford doing a Design Thinking Workshop. It was basically a rapid-fire series of design questions and actions used to test ideas with customers. It not only blew me away in effectiveness and simplicity to get creative and refine idea, but is something I plan to use implementing new products and improve existing process at dataGO.

We also ran into Al Gore arriving on campus as we were leaving which was kind of unexpected, especially considering I was only a few meters away when he was getting out of the car and I was thinking ‘Gee that guy looks familiar’!.

Out at Google we were exposed to their famous gourmet hospitality for lunch and I got the chance to try on Google Glasses. I might leave analysis and thoughts on Glass for another post later this week, because I think they really do hold revolutionary potential to change how we interact with mobile devices. Also a lot of natural flow-on effect to the way we travel.

After walking around the campus, just as we were leaving I snapped the above photo of a couple of strange cars over the road at an intersection. Asking one of the guys what they were I couldn’t believe hearing that they were some of Google’s ‘self-driving cars’. I had heard they were being developed but hadn’t quite expected to see them driving amongst a whole bunch of other traffic on the roads at what seemed a pretty standard speed.

Apparently they still need to be under the control of a ‘driver’ who can brake or steer clear of an accident if it all starts going wrong, but check out the video below of a guy 95% blind taking a car on an outing. The self-driving cars gathers 750 megabytes of sensor data per SECOND! They visualise and analyse pretty much every tiny object in their proximity from a trajectory and risk of a cigarette butt, bird, or rolling ball coming toward it. Amongst all the hype that Google Glasses seem to be creating, it caught me off guard how advanced and under-hyped some these developments are in future of transportation.

Anyway I’ll leave it there for blog 1 of 30 for May and check out the video below and get ready to see a very cool future around the corner!

Written by Peter Cain

Peter Cain is the Founder and CEO of dataGO.co, a company committed to making it easier and cheaper to stay connected whilst travelling. You can find him on Twitter and Google+. You can also find dataGO on FacebookTwitter,LinkedIn, and Google+ for all the latest info on local and roaming SIMs and data hotspots.



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