The European regulatory probe of Google on several fronts is putting pressure on the U.S.'s FTC to jump into the fray after bowing out under less-than-stellar circumstances a few years ago. Still, don't expect any meaningful changes in Google's practices until the regulatory processes likely wind through the courts.
Humans have a way of mucking up the works sometimes, especially when you're talking about the initial adoption of new technology like self-driving cars. The test and learn approach will one day solve this problem too.
While one U.S. administration is getting ready to pack up things in the White House and Trump or Clinton hope to redecorate the place on their own, it could be an opportune time to sneak a Priceline-TripAdvisor or Google-TripAdvisor marriage past those sometimes-pesky antitrust regulators.
Visit Faroe Islands sees its lack of Google Street View as a hindrance to tourism, so the tourism bureau is making its own "Sheep View." Even if the technology doesn't work perfectly, the project itself is getting attention and might boost tourism anyway.
Asia-Pacific is expected to replace North America as the world's biggest online travel market next year. If your travel business operates online, it's time to take a good, hard, look at your Asia-Pacific strategy.
It seemingly takes Google forever to roll out new features in travel products such as Hotel Ads and Google Flights. But in light of all that A/B testing going on, Google will continue to take its own sweet time. Google is not beholden to anyone else's schedule. After all, it's Google.
If you can't beat 'em, then join 'em -- or at least, from Hertz's perspective, partner with Uber and Lyft to attract a new revenue stream. Hertz, Avis Budget, Enterprise and others can't sit on their butts and they are scurrying to adapt.
These new products and updates don't appear to immediately be connected to any travel brands. But the implications for how the travel industry could use these products are many, especially with so many brands already using Google's Cardboard virtual reality headsets.
In an age where almost anything can be on-demand and every hotel company says it wants to personalize and customize hotel guest experience, why is it still so hard for us to get the exact room we want to stay in?
As with anything Google does, you can expect Google Trips to be very much a work in progress that goes through numerous iterations before it becomes available to the public. But its beta release expands Google's footprint in the travel ecosystem especially since so many consumers begin their trip planning in the search engine and explore destinations with the Maps app.