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Google and Its Advancing Technologies

Tech companies around the world try to outdo one another in coming up with new technologies. For that reason, these companies set aside a large share of their revenue for research and development (R&D). Startups and established organizations also get financial support from governments and NGOs, which helps in advancing recent technologies in various fields. Google is one such tech companies at the forefront of R&D and innovations. According to Google’s official website, its mission statement is “organizing the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” In contrast, the vision statement reads, “to provide access to the world’s information in one click.” In line with the mission and vision statements, Alphabet, Google’s parent company, spent over $26 billion in R&D (Statista, 2020) that aims to develop new technologies aimed at making the world’s information accessible. Such investment has helped Google develop some of the most interesting innovations that are helping people across the globe. For instance, Google’s search engine is the most popular and is widely used all over the world. This paper aims to describe some of these innovations from Google and examine how they impact people.

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Self-Driving Automobile

The first automobile invention fully relied on humans for control and driving tasks. However, over the years, companies began manufacturing vehicles with automated driving tasks, such as the shifting of gears, starting the engine, and opening/closing doors and windows. Later on, companies like Google developed a fully self-driving automobile. According to Memon et al. (2016), Google began developing self-driving cars in the year 2009. This innovation incorporated various devices, including multiple sensors, global positioning systems (GPS), lasers, and radars, that help with navigation. This type of self-driving car was ready for road testing by 2012, and it required the driver to be present and would take control of the vehicle whenever possible. In 2014, Google introduced a driverless car, which was fully automated and did not include steering wheels or pedals (Memon et al., 2016). In 2015, the car was tested on roads and had been used in various areas around the world.

A driverless car is an advancing technology that involves many risks. Like other automated machines, a fully autonomous vehicle can hang, leading to disastrous accidents. However, a study by Teoh and Kidd (2017) revealed that Google’s self-driving cars made fewer accidents compared to humans. Nonetheless, there are notable challenges experienced when using auto-pilot vehicles. For instance, in some autonomous cars, the drivers are advised to monitor the environment when the vehicle is self-driving, which would allow humans to take control to avoid an accident should the machine fail (Teoh & Kidd, 2017). The problem is that humans might become over-reliant on technology, thus failing to recognize when to take control of the vehicle. This problem might be addressed by making the automobile fully autonomous. That is, the cars should take over all the driving tasks and remove the need for human control, which would eliminate the confusion.

The second challenge affecting the implementation of these vehicles is the cost. Currently, the cost of manufacturing a single car goes over tens of thousands because the technology and components used are expensive (Lari, Douma, & Onyiah, 2015). The company can invest in the in-house development of some components or outsource to others at a cheaper rate. However, as technology grows, the cost of implementation will decline with higher production. Finally, autonomous vehicles raise some legal and policy issues, especially concerning privacy, liability, and insurance rules (Lari et al., 2015). Federal and local states should make laws that address this problem. In doing so, the government should involve all the relevant stakeholders, including people, to ensure the policies created are comprehensive. Addressing these issues will help the smooth adoption of self-driving cars on roads.

The introduction of the self-driving automobile will reduce car accidents. According to Bailey (2014), more than 90% of accidents are caused by human-related errors. These accidents could be caused by driving under the influence, drowsiness, and slow reaction speed. Therefore, I believe that the introduction of autonomous vehicles will reduce accidents, as shown by Laro et al. (2015) and Teoh and Kidd’s (2017) studies. The auto-brake/stop functions will help brake the car in case of an obstacle at a faster rate than humans. Additionally, I believe that the multiple sensors and radars on these vehicles will help identify barriers from a distance, enabling the car to react normally to avoid accidents, something that a tired human might not be able to control. Therefore, I believe that it is safer to replace human-drivers with computer-drivers.

Project Wing

The growth in online shopping created the need for safe, fast, and convenient delivery services all over the world. As a result, Google identified the market gap and ventured into the project wing. According to Heath (2018), Google publicly announced project wing in 2014, whose primary purpose is building delivery drones. The drones are autonomous aircraft that are used to transport a wide range of products from hardware to emergency medicines. This project was first tested in California and Australia. The project works this way; a fleet of drones is designated in an area where they collect packages from specific businesses and transports it to the clients’ homes. These unmanned vehicles use the GPS, and they lower the packages on the designated spots like at the backyard or doorstep.

The drones are expensive to construct and are complex to manage. The article by Heath (2018) revealed that these drones carry a maximum load of 1.5 kilograms due to the weight of redundant components. The load carried by drones and the amount of money it takes to construct and run might lead to enormous losses for the company. The solution to this problem could include researching on ways to make the drones lighter for them to carry bigger loads. Additionally, there are potential legal and policy problems associated with the use of delivery drones. For instance, the FAA Part 107 that covers Drone Regulations prohibit air carrier transportation (Ruppercht Law, 2020). As a result, drones might not be allowed to carry products from one state to another or operate within air transportation/aviation paths. This problem can be addressed by having a drone compliance team where only companies that meet the design standards are allowed to deploy.

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Nonetheless, there are moral and ethical concerns associated with delivery drones. People are afraid that hacking on a drone would lead to more accidents, especially when it crashes. Furthermore, hacking would reveal the people or residents where products are being delivered, which can lead to targeted theft or attacks. Also linked with security breaches, the drones could be fitted with cameras that spy on an area, and such data might be used to manipulate or attack people. These problems can be addressed with ways such as ensuring that footage recorded during the delivery of a product is well encrypted and should only be stored for a maximum of seven days.

The introduction of drones could lead to positive environmental impacts. According to O’Connell-Domenech (2018), medium and heavy-duty delivery trucks release about 415 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. The reason is that these trucks are mainly powered by oil. On the other hand, drones use a varied source of energy, mainly lithium batteries, which would reduce the harmful environmental impacts. Additionally, these impacts could further be reduced should delivery companies adopt energy-efficient programs, like solar-powered drones. Despite the above-highlighted challenges, the delivery drones are faster, covering a distance of 6 miles in six minutes (“Wing,” n.d.), making them a fast and convenient way to supply products, especially in case of an emergency. I believe that, when the privacy concerns are adequately addressed, delivery drones would be the better technology for supplying products. This is because drones can reduce harmful environmental effects, thus addressing global warming issues.

Home Automation and Smart Thermostats

Many computing devices for personal and home use are smart. These devices are essential in doing simpler home tasks, which can offset time for an individual to perform other duties. However, these devices need to be managed for them to function efficiently. Therefore, Google has developed a wide variety of smart and automated devices that simplify your life. Home automation devices developed by Google range from smart cameras, thermostats, alarm systems, doorbells, lock, as well as smoke and monoxide detection (“Nest,” n.d.). These devices are designed to adapt to the users’ needs, especially the smart thermostat. According to Grano (2020), a smart thermostat can within a week, learn how warm you like the room and warm. It then regulates the temperature of the house when you are in the house and lowers when you step out, subsequently saving energy. The smart cameras are equipped with facial recognition features that help in scaring off intruders, communicating with family members at home, and stores videos history in the cloud for 30 days (Grano, 2020). As a result, you can review the videos, obtain evidence when needed, or create clips and share entertaining clips.

Smart devices are Internet-based, which exposes homes to common attacks targeting networks. Zeng, Mare, and Roesner (2017) noted that privacy risks and unreliable devices are the main issues affecting the implementation of smart homes. These intelligent devices monitor your every move within the house, including when you wake up, who visits you and when, the food you like, which can easily gather personal information such as the location, user’s presence, and behavior. Such invasion of privacy is harmful, mainly because these systems can be hacked, thus leaking personally identifiable information. Further, smart systems make it easier for attackers to eavesdrop and obtain video footage of people’s homes that can be sold in black-markets or used to blackmail people. For instance, the recent Mirai malware targeted smart devices and turned them into botnets, causing distributed denial of services attacks (Zeng et al., 2017). Some mitigation strategies can help improve the implementation of these devices. They include advising users to separate the smart home devices from the main network, blocking certain networks and traffic from accessing the network, encrypting all data collected, and using firewall or intrusion detection systems. Further, Google should make the users fully aware of how and what data is collected and stored, as well as to who and under what circumstances the information is shared.

Smart home devices are essential in performing a wide range of activities. One, I believe that home automation devices will increase physical safety in residents and offices. These devices include smart door locks that use unique ID or biometric features, security systems that detect and scare off intruders, as well as smoke detectors. Secondly, they can improve productivity by automating small tasks such as adjusting the lights, air quality, water and room temperature in the house. Additionally, someone can make a distress call in case of an emergency by yelling a specific phrase, thus boosting safety at home. These devices can also clean the house. In summary, I believe that smart home automation devices are useful, but the privacy risks involved are many. Therefore, I think it should only be adopted under special circumstances, like monitoring babies, the elderly, and sick patients that need special care.

Renewable Energy and Sustainable Solutions

There are widespread calls for energy conservation and sustainable environment policies. Google is one of the companies that consume a lot of energy used to power the data centers storing and processing large data volumes (Hölzle, n.d.). Such energy is necessary to power YouTube and Google search engine, among other products supplied by the company. As a result, finding sustainable ways to obtain energy is one big step forward towards the elimination of pollution. Therefore, from 2010, Hölzle (n.d.) noted that the company began with a purchase of 114-megawatt wind farm in Iowa. That helped in powering offices and data centers in the area. In 2017, Google became the first company of its size to match the entire annual electricity consumption with renewable energy (Pichai, 2019). In doing so, the company became the most significant corporate buyer of renewable energy worldwide and achieved its carbon-neutral policy.

The process involved in generating renewable energy is expensive, which is why many people use non-renewable sources. Kochtcheeva (2016) noted that renewable energy only accounts for about 20% of the final global consumption. Therefore, despite the great efforts, Google is making on renewable energy, most people using crude energy largely contribute to environmental pollution. Perhaps, since Google has the technology and capability, it can supply the excess power generated from solar and wind energy to people within their vicinity. Additionally, the company understands the process required to create renewable energy, which can be applied in developing technical components and technology to be supplied in different parts of the world like Africa, where many people live off-grid. Google can make a big difference for not only creating renewable energy for their consumption but also supplying excess in other consumers at subsidized rates.

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Renewable energy and sustainable solutions by Google have several benefits. This form of energy replaces natural gas and fossil-fuels, which negatively harms the environment through the emission of carbon dioxide that causes global warming. With the growing investigation on ways to reduce pollution, many conservationists are encouraging organizations to invest in renewable energy sources. Therefore, Google has performed its duty of creating a sustainable business environment by adopting 100% energy sources in all its plants and offices. As a result, it has helped reduce air and water pollution that would otherwise be emitted by coal or natural gas used in creating electricity. For instance, UCS (2017) noted that pollution costs public health $74.6 billion annually. It can also create jobs for people working in manufacturing, construction, operations and maintenance, and other consulting services in renewable energy generating plants. UCS (2017) noted that the renewable energy sector employs around 100,000 full-time employees. Therefore, to conclude, I fully support this move by Google to adopt renewable energy and sustainable solutions. It has multiple benefits on the environment as opposed to non-renewable energy. The company is also raising awareness on renewable energy consumption as other organizations try to emulate Google in going 100% on renewable energy. Finally, there are no ethical or moral issues associated with this project.

Smart Contact Lenses

Technology in the health sector has led to the development of many wearable devices and software products that help doctors, caregivers, and individuals monitor health and fitness. Google has contributed to this field through the creation of a health metrics system that tracks sleep and exercise. In 2014, Google, in collaboration with Novartis, built smart contact lenses to help diabetic patients (Birch, 2018). The lenses aimed to measure the glucose levels and correct eye problems by utilizing sensors that could track sugar levels collected non-invasively on tears. Park et al. (2018) noted that an ultra-slim microchip is embedded on thin concave sides that collects data about glucose measurements and transmitted using a tiny antenna for analysis. The users would receive data on sugar levels on their smartphones. The developers had considered an LED that would warn users when glucose levels dropped severely, but it was dropped as it proved dangerous on humans.

The two companies encountered some challenges that forced them to drop the smart contact lenses. According to BBC (2018), experts dismissed the technology because tears were proved as infeasible and unreliable in measuring the glucose levels in humans. It has been noted in various research facilities that tears, saliva, and sweat are cannot produce glucose readings because they are easily contaminated by external factors such as humidity and temperature. Another possible problem with this problem is the integration of opaque ultra-thin chips, circuits, and antennas would block users’ vision. The solution to this would be the application of transparent nanomaterials, which would not obstruct users’ views. Additionally, people would still be resistant to adopting contact lenses with antennas and chips. For this reason, Google would have to target a specific population that would benefit from the technology.

The technology offered many promising results had Google finished produced the smart contact lenses. The main benefit included helping the diabetic patient monitor their sugar levels and seeking medical attention when low or high. Additionally, it was offering a non-invasive way of measuring glucose levels as opposed to drawing of blood. Therefore, the two companies should find a way out of making the technology work. Correcting the users’ eyesight is another advantage of this technology. Because it was linked with a smartphone, Google should integrate it to produce augmented reality images for entertainment purposes. However, the technology could have introduced privacy issues and security risks concerning the collection and storage of personal information. The data collected from smart lenses were to be transmitted to servers and results sent on a smartphone. In the case of a security breach, the data could be manipulated, thus giving the users false results that could be fatal in the instance patient inject the wrong dosage of insulin. Finally, the information released by the company did not reveal how the contact lenses would be powered or controlled from overheating. Therefore, in conclusion, I would encourage people to adopt this technology if it worked, especially people living with diabetes. However, I would recommend that they ensure their smartphones are secure as the data collected on their smartphones would be sent there, and access from an outsider would be a violation of privacy.


In conclusion, Google, as a leading innovator, has made strides in producing technology that simplifies people’s lives. Such technology is made possible by the financial abilities the company has and experienced scientists. All the technologies discussed in this paper are essential and convenient because they offer services that were otherwise harmful to the environment or expensive. For instance, the renewable energy solution has helped in curbing the rise of global warming that has led to droughts and floods in different areas of the world. The technologies also boost security and standard of life for many. However, there are many privacy and security-related issues that would affect the adoption of technology. Google has to find ways of assuring data security to its users for people to enjoy the technology fully.


Bailey, R. (2014). The moral case for self-driving cars. Web.

BBC. (2018). Glucose-sensing contact lens project halted. Web.

Birch, J. (2018). What happened to the plans for a smart contact lens for diabetics? Web.

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Grano, M. (2020). What is Google nest and how does it work? Web.

Heath, N. (2018). Project wing: A cheat sheet on alphabet’s drone delivery project. Web.

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Zeng, E., Mare, S., & Roesner, F. (2017). End user security and privacy concerns with smart homes. In Thirteenth Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security ({SOUPS} 2017) (pp. 65-80). Web.

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