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Automotive

Google & Ford Could Be in Driving Seat for Autonomous Cars

Google and Ford are reportedly expected to announce a deal to create self-driving cars at the massive Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in January 2016.

Yahoo Autos, citing three sources, reports that Ford CEO Mark Fields will announce the deal at CES.

The pair are expected to operate the company as a separate unit. Google has already talked about spinning off its driverless car unit as an independent entity under its Alphabet umbrella. (See Google Sings 'Alphabet' Song.)


For more on connected cars, visit the automotive channel here at Light Reading.


Ford is expected to build the cars. Google will provide the software that allows them to be on the road without a driver.

Google said that it had a self-driving automotive prototype ready this time last year. The company has also been working to get its Android operating system into more cars. (See Google Has Self-Driving Prototype Ready and Google Steering Android Towards Cars – Report.)

Of course, Google can't program out human error affecting its vehicles on the road. In its Californian drive tests over the last year, there are multiple reports of flesh-and-blood drivers crashing into its autonomous automobiles.

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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danielcawrey 12/28/2015 | 8:36:10 PM
Re: Google & Ford in Driver's Seat This is a great partnership. I was hoping Google wouldn't go it alone in trying to manufacture cars. We've seen from the trials and tribulations of Tesla that this is not a great idea. 

The melding of technology with automotive design and manufacturing is a interestined one, and I think Google + Ford could do really well. 
DanJones 12/28/2015 | 3:26:26 PM
Re: Google & Ford in Driver's Seat They could still use the Android auto OS.
DHagar 12/28/2015 | 1:52:14 PM
Re: Google & Ford in Driver's Seat Dan, that is true about Google.  I am wondering if Ford won't develop some commercial alternatives - i.e., hybrid combinations, as opposed to exclusivity with Google's autonomous cars?
DHagar 12/28/2015 | 1:42:10 PM
Re: Google & Ford in Driver's Seat KBode, see that's what makes sense.  First, roll it in as luxury conveniences, then as standard options, as the public gets use to it.

I'm with you about the nap, as long as there is an automatic alert that we can takeover as needed.  I think most of us get into a "zone" anyway after a period of time.
DHagar 12/28/2015 | 1:39:27 PM
Re: Google & Ford in Driver's Seat KBode, see that's what makes sense.  First, roll it in as luxury conveniences, then as standard options, as the public gets use to it.

I'm with you about the nap, as long as there is an automatic alert that we can takeover as needed.  I think most of us get into a "zone" anyway after a period of time.
DanJones 12/27/2015 | 7:28:43 PM
Re: Google & Ford in Driver's Seat The thing here is that Google is committed to self driving cars, not assisted driving systems.
KBode 12/27/2015 | 12:01:38 PM
Re: Google & Ford in Driver's Seat I'd agree. Should prove to be quite a helpful launching pad for both companies as they bring their respective expertise to the table. Hopefully we'll start seeing the technology more commonly implemented as initially a luxury option, and then common place. I say this as somebody who'd desperately like to nap during my commute. :)
DanJones 12/24/2015 | 2:42:23 PM
Re: Google & Ford in Driver's Seat Brave new world indeed, happy holidays.
DHagar 12/24/2015 | 1:05:28 PM
Re: Google & Ford in Driver's Seat Dan, you are absolutely correct - now that is a different story!  In that case, I want access to the computer programming to "realign" the priorities - me vs. society.  No, you are right, the broader social/public society issues provide a different dynamic.  Or, if you look at the debates with profiling, terrorism protections, etc.

Technology is definitely moving us beyond the standard decisions into new realms.  I guess that is why we humans have to keep thinking, learning, staying informed, and growing.

In the meantime, Happy Holidays!
DanJones 12/23/2015 | 11:22:31 PM
Re: Google & Ford in Driver's Seat Then you get into fascinating situations though: Like if the automated system sees that it can't avoid a multi car pile up would it be more rational to drive itself into a wall, killing you, but saving the rest of the drivers.
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