Sergey stymied: Prius doesn't work for Google Street View

In Europe, Google's on a massive hiring binge for the Street View feature of Google Maps, where camera-equipped vehicles snap photos of streetscapes. It's bringing on 300 drivers for the Switzerland-based effort. But the project has been held up by the whim of a founder. Sergey Brin, we hear, is insisting that the project use hybrid Priuses, rather than the staid Saturn Astra it used in Australia, shown here, or the Chevrolet Cobalt Googlers drive in the U.S. Brin believes Toyota's gas-sipping Priuses are better for Google's image. Just one problem.

Priuses may be better for Google's corporate image, but not the images it hopes to snap for Street View. It's proved unfeasible to mount the bulky Street View cameras on a Prius. No word on whether Brin has been persuaded to compromise, or if his engineers have somehow found a solution. For now, it seems Google's hiring hundreds of drivers with nothing for them to drive.

(Photo by sebr)