You're very much right in that the article is not about Google making $2 Trillion. I hope that I made a reasonable case that the driverless car will throw many trillions up for grabs if some player and series of events force a dramatic reconceptualization of the car and the car-related economy. Will Google capture all of that shifted revenue? Absolutely not.
At the same time, the articles are very much about Google. This is because I see it as a central player in forcing that disruptive reconceptualization. Left to the industry's devices, driverless technology would be introduced incrementally and piecemeal, such as through parking assistance or crash avoidance features. This is very logical for car makers, it is less intimidating to customers, enables a steady flow of premium features, doesn't raise as large liability issues, and doesn't disrupt current business models. Google, however, has little stake in being "logical." It approaches driverless holistically, rather than as a set of discrete applications. That, I believe, will allow for a better architected solution, and one that will more likely converge to true "driverless" and the associated benefits (especially fleet and cost reduction). Once you discard "incremental" as a design constraint, many more design options open up—including the possibility of a "platform." To paraphrase a common expression, the driving platform would be greater than the sum of the incremental safety modules.
As a result, if it does indeed catalyze the non-incremental approach, I think Google places itself in the driver's seat to make lots of money in a lot of different ways. I'm going to address that in Part 4. What did you think of Part 3?
thanks, also, to +Jos Echelpoels
and +Haydn Shaughnessy