The Google Street View project has generated a bit of controversy in some areas it has integrated itself, while most of the time it just receives a sentiment of eye-rolling annoyance. In the UK things have been a bit more aggressive and Google has responded by asking for input from the public regarding what areas deserve more attention, and they are using a bike to help.
I’m not sure if the bike is an attempt at cultural association to ease tensions, but it’s certainly a pragmatic tool as some of the Old World streets were built before cars even existed and so are only navigable by foot or bike. The Google trike can get into tight spots to document lesser known areas of UK cities and towns.
The one thing the Google trike can’t do, however, is make trikes look cool. I mean, seriously, look at that thing.