A busy week in business news started with word out of Google that the search giant wants to have a small fleet of 100 self-driving cars on public roads by as early as next year.
A step beyond previous prototypes that had human controls on board in case anything goes wrong, the cars will have no steering wheels or brakes — just an on-off button, as they'll move at speeds of up to 40 km/h while being completely remotely operated by syncing up with Google's mapping network.
A lot of safety and practicality hurdles have yet to be met but Google certainly achieved its intention of taking the idea of driverless cars from theory into reality.
Lenovo deal upsets customers
Another technology company was in the news this week for the wrong reasons, as Chinese computer maker Lenovo angered its customer base by offering a hard-to-believe price on a laptop online, but then failing to deliver.
CBC News was inundated with irate customers complaining that over the weekend the company had offered a laptop that normally costs $1300 for $279. Hundreds of customers who signed up for the deal soon after got an email saying the offered price was a glitch, and the sales were cancelled. Lenovo tried to soothe that anger by offering $100 gift certificates for anyone affected, but the damage was done.
Million jobs plan draws fire
Ontario's going to the polls on June 12 and the focus so far in the campaign is the economy. PC leader Tim Hudak has gained some traction for his so-called "million jobs plan," part of which he outlined in an interview on the Lang & O'Leary Exchange this week.
His critics say the math doesn't add up, but what was looking like a staid campaign certainly got a little more interesting this week.
Apple hints at iHome
The futuristic, all-knowing technology envisioned in Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey took a step closer from science fiction into real-world reality this week with word that Apple was getting into the "smarthome" business, hinting that the focus of an upcoming technology conference will be getting the company's devices to integrate even more to allow for things like having lights automatically come on when your iPhone signals to your house that you're home.
A fully integrated "iHome" is likely years away. But much as rival Google did with their ambitious driverless car news, it's clear that the world's most innovative technology companies aren't resting on their laurels.