Google Street View arrives in India on a glorified rickshaw

Google India will be driving something on the Indian roads starting May 27, 2011. It might drive some people crazy but the much awaited Google Street View has arrived in India. Bengaluru will be the first city to be traversed by the Google’s cars. Street View was started in 2007 and is being used in 27 countries. If Street View was ambitious when it was started out, India would be Street View’s most ambitious country ever. Believe me, I live here and that’s how I know it.

Street View Cars are fully branded.. you won’t miss it if you spot one on the streets

The cars are ready and the we’ve also got the Google Trike to do select location….  –> Tweets of GoogleIndia

Google Street View will be gathering images from various areas in Bengaluru starting with Nrityagram Dance Village. Most importantly, all the license plates and images will be blurred. Blurring, I presume, is for the general eye. As for the data, Google will still have access to it. Now you will know some very interesting things. Like the excellent parallel parking skills or the lane discipline or ingenuous Indian administrative tricks to control traffic.

Google might use a car or a trike to traverse Bengaluru.  Trike is nothing but a glorified rickshaw with a camera mounted on it and the rider probably wearing a helmet. That doesn’t make it any more safer than a regular rickshaw. Regular rickshaws are extinct right now and these trikes will be a tourist attraction:  “You know there are Google rickshaws in Bengaluru”.  Trikes though look humble and easy to maneuveur, they are the least recommended for Bengaluru’s traffic. With new car being launched every other month and thousands of cars being added to the streets, no body really cares about trikes.

Bengaluru and few other cities have already started collecting real time images at intersections to get hold of traffic offenders. Google’s Street View will not serve the same purpose but would take the whole to a new level. Who knows, there might be some use coming out of the whole exercise.

In addition to prying ears now we have prying eyes, thanks to Google. Think one more time when you talk about privacy because we live in the age of phone tapping’s and Google Street Views.

Would Google Street View be a fresh hell or godsend? We will soon find out.