Google’s Schmidt wants to put you in a self-driving car

Google executives never miss a chance to talk up the futuristic self-driving cars the company is developing.

Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt gave an update on Google’s automotive efforts during a chit-chat with reporters at the Allen & Co conference in Sun Valley on Thursday.

“We have had conversations with all of the manufacturers globally, when politicians come by we love to put them in the car and drive them around at full blast,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt even revealed that Google maintains a little race course in a parking lot, where drivers can try to outgun the self-driving cars (typically a modified Toyota Prius).

“We ask you to race the Prius, inevitably the Prius wins against you,” said Schmidt.

Sergey’s secret Google projects, and the challenge of 1,000 blooming flowers

What’s Sergey Brin been up to since his pal Larry Page took the reins as CEO of Google, the Internet search company that the pair co-founded 13 years ago?

Brin, who spoke at the Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco on Wednesday, discussed his new role at Google, which he said is focused on advanced research projects like Google’s famous self-driving cars, as well as some “infrastructure” projects.

Brin said he was optimistic that Google’s so-called “autonomous cars” would eventually make it to market – though he noted that the vehicles still required a good deal of research and development before being ready for prime time.