What Happens If Your Self Driving Car Manufacter Stops

What Happens If Your Self Driving Car Manufacter Stops

Once you purchase a car, you basically rely on yourself, however now you may have to continue relyoing on the manufacturer

This is because, what we don’t expect is for the company that made it to reach out through the internet and remotely shut it down whenever it feels like it. Yet a recent move by a corporate sibling of Google GOOGL -0.17% signals exactly that sort of future as we move into an era of connected and automated vehicles.

Connected thermostat and smoke alarm maker Nest, purchased Revolv, a manufacturer of home automation hubs in October 2014 and promptly stop selling devices. The staff of Revolv were reassigned to work on new similar products within the Nest organization. Nest is itself a subsidiary of Alphabet, a holding company formed in 2015 that also owns Google, Google cars and a host of other ambitious startup companies.

It’s not at all unusual for a company to cease updating products after an acquisition, especially when the purchase is a so-called acquihire where the purchaser just wants the staff and technology. What makes this situation different is that Nest this week posted a message on the Revolv.com website announcing that the product would be permanently shut down on May 15, 2016. The Revolv hubs haven’t been updated since the Nest purchase, but by all accounts they still work just fine and will likely continue to do so for years to come. At least they would if Nest wasn’t about to brick them.

I’ve always liked Google. I use Chrome, search and I do most of my writing in Docs as I jump around between machines. I use a Nexus 6P as my main communications device. I’m also fully aware that any Google software product can be killed at any time and I’ve been the victim of some of these sunset events just like millions of other people that formerly used Google Reader, Wave, Talk, Notebook and many other products. While some of these product deaths irked me, they were all free software that had alternatives I could move too. In each case, Google deemed that the products didn’t have enough users to justify ongoing support and subsequently pulled the plug.

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