prototyped pod-like Google cars that can be driven without a steering wheel or the pedals.
Potential partnership between Google and Ford, in which the automobile manufacturer might produce the self-driving Google cars in the years to come?
It is still unclear as to the extent of the partnership, but perhaps Google cars in the years to come, might be manufactured by Ford. The two sides have been talking for months and this can only be seen as a step in the right direction! A partnership between a large automaker and Google would hasten the arrival of fully autonomous Google cars!
This kind of scenario seems ideal, Google are not proficient in making vehicles, as that is not their area of expertise. So by letting Ford or another major automaker handle the vehicle and transport side of things, Google can handle the software side. This way, each firm is doing what they are best at.
The safety benefits from fully autonomous vehicles will be highly significant. Thousands of accidents and deaths could be avoided on a daily basis if self-driving cars became the norm. It would also extend personal mobility to those who cannot currently drive.
The Ford Chief Executive, Mark Fields met with one of the Google co-founders, Sergey Brin in December last year. Although Google have stated that they are currently in talks with many automakers, so it is unclear if the talks with Ford have led to any significant progress.
“We’re not going to comment on rumour or speculation about specific conversations.”
Ford declined to confirm or deny talks with Google; spokesman Alan Hall said:
“We have been, and will continue working with many companies and discussing a variety of subjects.”
Google cars have logged more than two million kilometres of autonomous driving and Google have even prototyped pod-like Google cars that can be driven without a steering wheel or the pedals.
Automotive News reported on Monday the companies were in talks to have Ford build Google’s next-generation autonomous cars.
Kelley Blue Book senior analyst Karl Brauer said both partners could benefit.
“An alliance between the two industries could make everything happen much quicker,” he commented.
Former Ford CEO Alan Mulally is a director at Google, while Google named John Krafcik, who worked at Ford in various positions for 14 years, as chief executive of its self-driving car project in September.