Google and are drawing a plan to design and create self-driving vehicles together in a joint venture. The deal in planned to be officially announced at next month’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, says a report in Yahoo Autos. The partnership would represent a major collaboration between two of the biggest names in the tech and automotive industries.
Google stated that the company had no comment.
According to Yahoo Autos’ sources, the deal is not exclusive, meaning Google will be free to work with other automakers and tech companies who are interested in its self-driving car technology.
Many believe that because ford is the first company to strike a deal with Google, they will have an obvious ese over rivals, including Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Volvo, and Tesla, that are also working on self-driving cars and eager to get them to market. During the last CES in January 2014, Ford chief executive officer Mark Fields said that he believes somebody will introduce autonomous vehicles within the next five years.
The joint venture will legally be considered separate from Ford, meaning the automaker would have a buffer against accepting responsibility if any of its self-driving cars were involved in a collision. In turn, Google gets a partner to help it handle the expense and hassle of actually manufacturing autonomous vehicles, especially if it plans to make cars available for personal ownership as well as transportation systems. Google co-founder Sergey Brin has said that the company plans to work with “top-tier OEMs” instead of keeping everything in-house and will find partners to build cars.