MENLO PARK, CA — Buoyed by the positive reviews for the Google Phone, which isn’t really a phone but software for phone manufacturers to build cell phones around, Google announced plans to offer the Google Car, which isn’t really a car but an engine for auto manufacturers to build cars around. “Just as our Android software makes the new T-Mobile G1 operate kind of like an iPhone, our Camdroid engine will make cars run kind of like a Prius.”
“Kind of” may be an exaggeration, according to automotive writer Rhode Anne Traque. “The Camdroid is nothing but an old Chevy Vega engine wired to a box of 1,000 D-cell batteries. By their definition, my kid’s red wagon is kind of like a Prius and TV Guide is kind of like Google.”
General Motors, desperate for anything to help regain market share and compete with the Prius, is the first auto company to build a Google Car. “We’re calling it the Grand Prix S,” said GM designer Dee Lorian. “It’s a Camdroid inside Suburban body, which we have a surplus of in the back lot.” Mileage estimates for the Grand Prix S are 25 mpg city, 30 mpg highway and 60 mpg with the optional front-end 18-wheeler-hitch.
Google founder Larry Page bristled at the suggestion that the Google Car isn’t really an innovation. “I googled ‘Google car’ and nothing came up,” said Page.
The Google Car and Google Phone are part of the company’s master plan to attach the Google name to a variety of products simply by giving away one small part and letting other companies build the rest. Products under development include the Google Burger – built around a piece of meat called the Hamdroid, the Google Barbie – based on a doll head called the Blondroid, and the Google Anti-Itch Cream – containing a drug called Hemroid.