In 2013, Google started working on the prototype of a fully automated, self-driving car called Firefly. Yesterday, Google officially retired Firefly, and have announced that the prototype would be now showcased in museums across the globe.
Firefly was developed under Waymo, which is an Alphabet company (Google’s parent organisation), which has been described by Google as “a self-driving tech company with a mission to make it safe and easy for people and things to move around”.
In a blog post published by YooJung Ahn, Lead Industrial Designer and Jaime Waydo, Lead Systems Engineer, the death of Firefly was announced. They said, “From the beginning, Firefly was intended as a platform to experiment and learn, not for mass production.”
As per the details posted by them, the technology behind Firefly would be now used in Chrysler Pacifica minivan, which has been co-developed by Google, especially for self-driving transportation.
Firefly was hailed as the most ‘adorable’ and ‘cute’ product ever developed by Google, because of its unique look (appeared almost like a pouch of Koala), had no steering wheel or driver’s seat, and debuted in 2014.
The blog said, “Firefly has taken us on an incredible journey over the last three years, and we’re looking forward to sharing this bit of self-driving history with the world.”
6 Products Which Google Killed In Last One Year
Google, which is right now World’s most valuable global brand, beating Apple, is known for their daring experiments, which sometimes fail miserably.
In the last several years, there has been a literal graveyard of dead Google products, which bombed in the market and were killed.
Here are the top 6 products, which were killed by Google in the last 1 year:
Started in 2015 as a comparison website for mortgages, financial products and credit cards, Google Compare was killed last year in March. Although the idea was great, Google realised that they are spreading themselves too thin.
Since 2010, Google had rolled out 8 smartphones under brand Nexus, along with 4 tablets, and 2 media players. Last year during the launch of Pixel line of smartphones, Google officially retired entire Nexus line of gadgets.
Google acquired Picasa in 2002 and was one of the most widely used product for sharing images. But last year, they killed Picasa for focussing entirely on Google Photos.
Google’s, one of the most ambitious project: Ara was killed last year. With Ara, Google aimed to develop modular smartphones, with interchangeable parts.
Very few are aware, but Google also ventured into fitness tracking app niche, when they launched MyTracks in 2009. But due to lack of interest from sports enthusiasts and dominant position of Fitbit, MyTracks was killed in 2016
Panoramio was acquired by Google in 2007 and was meant to support Google Images. Panoramio was a location-centric photo-sharing app. In fact, when Google attempted to shut it down in 2014, users petitioned to Google, requesting them to stop the killing. Both Picasa and Panoramio were mainly killed to boost the usage of Google Photos, which is also dying a slow death.
"Firefly, the Cute Self-Driving Car By Google Has Been Retired; Here Are 6 Products Which Google Killed in Last One Year",