http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/24/us-space-asteroid-mining-idUSBRE83N06U20120424 Funding hobbies, such playing astroids with real ships. Or this. http://www.udacity-forums.com/cs373...-part-of-googles-mounting-research-trash-pile Google is being criticized for spending billions on research projects that end up on the "trash pile," taking value away from investors. Here is how self driving cars are being considered by those with an investor's perspective: "...robot-driven cars arenât even legal anywhere but (where else?) Nevada. And so far, thereâs clearly work to be done making them really roadworthy..." "Whatâs all this got to do with Google? Thatâs a question shareholders and others have asked for months." âWhy is Google spending the $10+ million of shareholder money per year the project consumes (15 engineers, plus drivers, plus the cars). Isn't there something closer to its core business that Google could spend this money on?â" "Bottom line: Driverless cars wonât be on US roads for awhile. A long while, perhaps. In the meantime, one of the Internetâs leading companies is driving away with millions in shareholder value."