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Google teams up with Ford to build self-driving cars

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Google teams up with Ford to build self-driving cars

Google teams up with Ford to build self-driving cars
December 22
12:29 2015

Google and Ford partner up to create a joint venture to build self-driving vehicles with Google’s technology. The contract manufacturing deal, if finalised, is expected to come during the annual International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas during the first week of January.

By pairing with Google, Ford gets a massive boost in self-driving software development; while the automaker has been experimenting with its own systems for years, it only revealed plans this month to begin testing on public streets in California. Google has 53 test vehicles on the road in California and Texas, with 1.3 million miles logged in autonomous driving.

By pairing with Ford, the search-engine giant avoids spending billions of dollars and several years that building its own automotive manufacturing expertise would require. Earlier this year, Google co-founder Sergey Brinsaid the company was looking for manufacturing partners that would use the company’s self-driving system, which it believes could someday eliminate the roughly 33,000 annual deaths on U.S. roads.

Google declined to comment. Ford spokesman Alan Hall said the automaker works with many companies on its Ford Smart Mobility plan, adding: “We keep these discussions private for obvious competitive reasons, and we do not comment on speculation.”

Google is expected to make its self-driving cars unit, which will offer rides for hire, a stand-alone business under its parent company, Alphabet Inc, next year, Bloomberg reported earlier. Ford, although lagging behind most competitors, ramped up its pace to develop self-driving cars earlier this year and said it would expand advanced safety technology, including automatic braking, enabling hands-free operation of cars under certain conditions by automating such basic functions as steering, braking and throttle. This was to be included across its global lineup over the next five years.

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