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Google's California Attitude Towards Cars May Be The Wrong One

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Welcome to Must Read, where we single out the best stories from around the automotive universe and beyond. Today, we have reports from CNET, Forbes and Road & Track.

California thinking may backfire for Google's new self-driving carCNET

Tim Stevens brings up a great point about the drivers Google's new car appears to be aimed at. So while it'll work in Palo Alto, is it going to resonate with people who live elsewhere? Where they don't hate driving as much.


There's nothing wrong with that. Indeed, read the comments on the Google blog post announcing the car and you'll see plenty of support for the idea. However, I feel this points to a sort of California-centrism that will be a challenge as Google creates more products less to do with the Internet and more to do with the real world.

California may be the spiritual home of the Internet these days, but it's still part of the real world. It's also home to some of its worst traffic — and some of the most aggressive drivers, too.


Inside New CEO Mary Barra's Urgent Mission To Fix GMForbes

An extremely in-depth profile on Mary Barra, her rise to the top of GM and her current predicament. There's more to her than recall testimony.

"I think from the product perspective we're there, but we still have work to do" to restore the company's reputation, Barra says. "Rebuilding takes time."

But as the costs of the ignition-switch debacle mount–recalls, suits and potential fines could wipe out most of 2014′s projected $5 billion profits–the risk is obvious. To survive, and thrive, Barra must get her "new" GM to finally– finally–emerge from the shadow of the old. And she needs to do it soon.

It's virtually impossible to total a McLaren F1Road & Track

But running one for a year costs about the same as buying a well-equipped VW GTI every year. Decisions...

A routine oil change service costs about $8,000, and annual running costs are estimated by McLaren to be about $30,000 per year. It's not something one Jiffy Luber can do—more like a Hugo Boss-attired pit crew. [Inside joke—Ron Dennis requires all McLaren workers to wear supplied uniforms made by Boss, including underwear.]


Photo: Getty Images