Saturday, July 20, 2013

What if Google bought Detroit?


What if Google bought Detroit? Is it financially possible, and if so, what would Google do with an entire city?
According to Yahoo! Finance, Google’s market cap is approximately $297.46 billion dollars as of July 20th 2013. An article written by usatoday.com describes how Detroit’s bankruptcy is one of the largest of its kind in U.S history. With a population of approximately 700,000, Detroit debts and liabilities could reach as high as $20 billion dollars.
Google most definitely has enough purchasing power to bail out the city of Detroit, but what would it do with a whole city? Historically Detroit has been the heart of car manufacturing, where Henry Ford invented what we consider the modern day assembly line.  Thus, Google could convince the existing car manufacturers to start producing Google Cars and a premium rate. However, Google could convince any manufacturing company to produce their driver-less cars at a premium rate.
What would be appealing to Google would be the ability to produce city wide legislature that allowed them to use the entire city of Detroit as real life testing ground for all of their technologies without having to comply to city laws and regulations. This would allow them to test cutting edge technologies in everyday scenarios. It would also present the authority needed to re-imagine how a city operates on an information level, and not only to test their driver-less cars, but test products such as mobile commerce, free public internet and free public transportation as well.
Most importantly though, Detroit could become an example to other cities across the United States of how to develop a sustainable city using groundbreaking technology that would normally get stuck in the standard bureaucratic processes. It also may radically changing our perspectives on education, transportation, green energy, and public policy.
Having a city such as this would draw in leading minds from all around the world, including scientist, engineers, coder, IT experts, and green architects. These individuals could present groundbreaking ideas and test their new technologies on a laboratory scale that has been historically unprecedented.  Taking Detroit from the automotive center of the United States and transforming it into an innovative technological hub could challenge the authority of Silicon Valley as the most technologically inventive city in the world.
What do you think? Share your opinion below in the comments section.

*This article is a hypothetical scenario, and not a call to action.*