Google and Ford are apparently preparing to announce a joint venture to make autonomous cars at CES next year. The collaboration will see a new separate company that will limit the liability of either company in the event that something goes wrong with the vehicles, although few details are known about the deal.
The information comes from a report on Yahoo Autos, which spoke to people close to the matter. Nothing was shared about when the supposed cars would be hitting the road, although it is unlikely to be any time in the near future. Google is currently testing some 53 cars on the road, and has logged over 1.3 million miles travelled. Naturally, there have been some minor accidents with the test vehicles; although none of them were the fault of the computer controlled AI.
Ford, like other automotive companies, has also been looking into driverless cars. However, despite the intentions to go autonomous, the company will only begin testing prototypes on public roads in 2016. It is assumed that the joint venture with Google will help Ford’s aspirations along. It should also be noted that the agreement is not exclusive, freeing both parties to work with other technology and automotive companies while the joint venture is ongoing.
Google’s holding company, Alphabet, will also be working on a separate automated ride sharing service. It was reported that the driverless car division will be spun out into its own company, although nothing has come of that just yet.
This joint venture between Ford and Google is not entirely surprising. The current head of Google’s self-driving car division, John Krafcik, worked for Ford for 14 years; while former Ford executive Alan Mulally recently joined Google’s board of directors.
[Source: Yahoo Autos]