I don’t think Google are the smartest guys in the room, after all they funded Schweeb as the best idea to “Drive innovation in public transportation”. Unless their sole objective is attention-seeking, this is a miss.
PG asks me to elaborate:
There are any number of critiques, quote James from the GigaOm post on the subject:
“This may be one of the silliest, most impractical ideas I’ve ever heard get funding. It can only have two stops, one at each end. It only goes as fast the slowest rider. And there’s no way to return the cars without riders. And where do you put your stuff? How about this: build a bike path. All the advantages, probably 1/100th the cost and you get all the same political challenges!”
Also passing seems prohibited (though switches might enable that).
This does not seem to help public transport at all, and is just the worst of PRT meets the worst of bicycle advocacy. It is a toy, and an amusement park ride, but not a serious attempt at solving a serious problem. To work, the network needs to be everywhere people want to go. We have a network that solves that problem, it is called the road network. Deploying a new network (with all the network economics issues of it isn’t valuable until it is ubiquitous) will require enormous subsidy. If Google wants to put their money in great, I don’t own their stock.