Construction Stories August 25, 2015

GOOG: 582.06

-7.55

Google patent covers using vehicle sensors to detect road quality, improve Maps

As first spotted by AutoBlog, Google was recently granted a patent covering a system capable of detecting road quality conditions, which in theory could allow it to deliver warnings of potholes and other road quality issues to its users.

The patent describes using a number of sensors in the vehicle, in addition to  potentially adding other sensors to a vehicle’s shocks and elsewhere, and transmitting the data through a mobile network. Google would in return use the data for Google Maps to improve driving directions and potentially warn users of dangerous road conditions. It’s also data that would undoubtedly come in handy for Google’s self-driving car project.

Google Maps already offers similar warnings for things like accidents, construction, road closures, and more via user submissions in the Waze mapping app it acquired along with a few other sources. But having data compiled directly from the vehicles would likely allow it to have more accurate and up to date data for much larger areas compared to user submitted data.

You can view the Google patent in full here.

Construction Stories February 22, 2013

Google-Plex-NPPJ

Vanity Fair today posts the first renderings of Google’s first ‘from scratch’  building dubbed Bay View which it is building on land it leased from NASA in 2008 for 40 years and which overlooks San Francisco Bay.  The project is designed by Architecture firm NBBJ.

The more you look at the complex, however, the more intriguing it is. The new campus, which the company is calling Bay View, consists of nine roughly similar structures, most of which will be four stories high, and all of which are shaped like rectangles that have been bent in the middle. The bent rectangles are arranged to form large and small courtyards, and several of the buildings have green roofs. All of the structures are connected by bridges, one of which will bring people directly to one of the green roofs that has been done up with an outdoor café and gathering space. And cars, the bane of almost every suburban office complex, including the Googleplex, are hidden away.

By comparison, Apple’s new ‘Spaceship Campus’ building is about 2.5 times as big.

The project was actually announced in 2011 but the press release no longer lives on the company website. From the *ahem* Google  cache:

We are thrilled to announce that NBBJ has been selected to design a new 1.1 million square foot facility for Google in Mountain View, California. The scope of work includes integrated new construction, interiors and workplace design. This will be Google’s first build-to-suit new construction project. Both Google and NBBJ have high expectations for sustainability and healthy, creative work environments. Together, we will explore innovative materials and processes for construction.

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