Google and Ford may be teaming up to build self-driving cars

Ford will lend Google some of its automotive expertise. Photo: Google

Ford will lend Google some of its automotive expertise. Photo: Google

Google is reportedly teaming up with Ford for a self-driving car project that will combine Ford’s vehicles with Google’s technology.

According to sources supposedly familiar with the plans, the deal will be announced at next year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January.

For Google, the advantage of pairing with Ford is that the company would not need to develop self-driving vehicles itself, but could instead concentrate on the artificial intelligence technology behind the scenes.

The deal is said to be non-exclusive, and Google is talking to several other manufacturers in the automotive industry about similar team-ups. However, Google does have existing ties to Ford — including the head of Google’s self-driving car project, John Krafcik, who worked for 14 years at Ford, and former Ford chief executive Alan Mulally, who joined Google’s board last year.

Last month we wrote that Ford is already planning for a world in which the rumored Apple Car exists. Specifically, Ford has reshuffled some of its management team — giving new director of corporate strategy, Michael Seneski, the job of seeking partnerships with tech giants.

At a recent tech conference in Ireland, company chairman Bill Ford Jr. meanwhile said the company is, “going to have to migrate to new business models, which will be much more like transportation as a service.”

We guess a team-up with Google is as good a step in that direction as any!

Source: Yahoo