While Apple and Google continue their patent wars in the smartphone space, it may be Google’s autonomous (driverless) vehicles that propel the search giant to the head of the technology pack.

Forbes Chunka Mui brought up a good point in his post this week, writing:

“The driverless car has broad implications for society, for the economy and for individual businesses. Just in the U.S., the car puts up for grab some $2 trillion a year in revenue and even more market cap. It creates business opportunities that dwarf Google’s current search-based business and unleashes existential challenges to market leaders across numerous industries, including car makers, auto insurers, energy companies and others that share in car-related revenue.”

Google Driverless Vehicle

But it is not just about driving. Google is and will always be a software-centric company and it is focused on drawing attention to its product. If Google can take a drivers eyes off the road it could mean longer times spent browsing the internet. Mobile data continues to increase in use and a customer using a Google driven vehicle with Google connectivity will be more likely to connect to Google service.  Imaging sitting in traffic for your 90 minutes commute to work and instead of staring at the cars in front of your vehicle you power up your smartphone and surf the web, watch YouTube videos and use other Google based internet platforms and other services.

Google autonomous vehicles could also save lives. Google has already claimed that it can greatly reduce the 34,000 deaths and 240,000 hospitalizations that occur every year. And while we would never recommend a drunk driver getting behind the wheel, Google’s new technology could provide a safer way for those drinkers to get home if they refuse a cab or other help.

The team at Mother Jones also notes that Google’s autonomous vehicles could lead to more carpooling because of their efficiency which would mean a big environmental impact could be on the horizon. By allowing a drivers vehicle to handle the driving better gas mileage and less wear and tear on vehicles could also be witnessed.

With $2 trillion in annual sales Google’s Autonomous vehicles could be a game changer for the company and in terms of technological advances the search giant is killing its competitors.

[Image via The Register]