San Francisco – Google is travelling across the United States in a custom-built van to discover how google users react to new features and how people use the online service. Allowing the company a direct face-to-face- feedback with its customers

A custom made van stamped with the company’s logo will read “Shape the future” as it embarks on a six-week nationwide road trip, scheduled to begin on March 24th.

Google put a research lab in a van and is driving it around the US. Credit: The Verge

The van will make stops in seven different states, especially in libraries, parks, colleges and Google’s regional offices. The main focus of the road trip is to understand how an average person uses the online searcher services.

Google’s team will invite users and volunteers to step inside the designed van, that will serve as a van-adapted to Google’s laboratories in Silicon Valley. Researchers will observe, question and record how volunteers use apps and other services for a session of at least 15 minutes. Google users will receive gift cards and Google t-shirts for their time.

The plan of this research was inspired by the fact that most people don’t live and think in the same way as the population that lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where Google developers and laboratories conduct most of the company’s studies.

“We are trying to understand the whole end-to-end experience which is why we are trying to get out more locations and see more people so we can gather more context,” Says Laura Grenko, a lead google researcher on the internet search and maps, in a statement.

The research is driven by the desire to understand better Google users. Taking a more deliberate approach to study well the market before releasing a product.

After leaving New York City, the van will stop in states such as North Carolina, South Carolina, Atlanta, Boulder, Colorado, Salt Lake City, Nevada and California. The company expects to send the van into other several states later this year and eventually hit the road in another country.

Source: Boston Globe