Google to reportedly partner with Ford on self-driving vehicle project

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Google will soon be one step closer to bringing its autonomous car technology to the consumer market, as a report on Monday claims the company is teaming up with Ford on a project that could lead to automated ride sharing services.


Ford's automated Fusion hybrid test vehicle. | Source: Ford


Citing sources familiar with the matter, Yahoo Autos reports the partnership is equally beneficial for both parties, with Ford getting a boost in self-driving software development and Google gaining access to invaluable automobile manufacturing expertise.

Ford just this month announced plans to begin field tests of prototype self-driving vehicles in California. Google, on the other hand, has a fleet of 53 cars that have together clocked more than a million miles on public roads in San Francisco and Austin, Tex.

The report goes on to say that Ford is looking to legally separate itself from the initiative to decrease exposure to liability, suggesting the joint venture might be spun off as it own legal entity. Reports last week claimed Google is planning to do much the same and will formally break off into an Alphabet subsidiary next year. Google's tie-up with Ford is not exclusive, the report notes, meaning deals with other car makers could be in the works.

Google and Ford are expected to announce the partnership at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, sources said.

At the intersection of tech and heavy industry, self-driving cars have become a hot topic for both automobile makers and technology companies. The world's largest and most profitable tech company, Apple, is also rumored to be working on its own automobile project in secret.

Dubbed Project Titan, AppleInsider sources indicate Apple's skunkworks initiative is currently operating out of a secret lab near the company's Cupertino, Calif., headquarters. While Apple has yet to comment on Titan -- CEO Tim Cook actively dodged questions in a "60 Minutes" interview -- the company has made numerous hires from the auto industry, including former Tesla engineers and software developers working on autonomous technologies.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 26
    great hook up for ford. def getting the better end of the deal wrt to brain trust gained. all else being equal...obviously don't know the terms of the agreement.
  • Reply 2 of 26
    Something tells me these vehicles won’t have the Sync technology in them…
    latifbp
  • Reply 3 of 26
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,896member
    Something tells me these vehicles won’t have the Sync technology in them…
    Yeah, but worse... they'll have Andruid.
    redgeminipa
  • Reply 4 of 26
    Something tells me these vehicles won’t have the Sync technology in them…
    Sync 3 isn't Microsoft based. It's a Ford developed system built on QNX. 
  • Reply 5 of 26
    Henry Ford - "You can have any color you want... so long as it's black." Google Ford - "Your car will go anywhere you want... so long as it's to one of our advertising partners!"
    tallest skillatifbpredgeminipa
  • Reply 6 of 26
    The Google car - a dream come true for the NSA
    gtrlatifbpbuckalecredgeminipa
  • Reply 7 of 26
    I feel sorry for Ford as partnerships with Google don't usually workout very well.
    Time will tell.
    palomine
  • Reply 8 of 26
    Fix Or Repair Daily
  • Reply 9 of 26
    Funny the protection fron liability is the overarching concept here.
    palomine
  • Reply 10 of 26
    I think it is a smart move for Google.  Partnering with an established automaker will have huge benefits getting the technology on the road.  Shame on Ford for milking oil profits for so many years and sacrificing innovation.  They should have had a full electric car 10 years ago and should already be rolling out an autonomous version.
    palomine
  • Reply 11 of 26
    Fix Or Repair Daily
    First On Race Day  ;)
    flashfan207
  • Reply 12 of 26
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 1,273member
    Fix Or Repair Daily
    First On Race Day  ;)
    Found on road dead 

    redgeminipa
  • Reply 13 of 26
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,175member
    I feel sorry for Ford as partnerships with Google don't usually workout very well.
    Time will tell.
    I don't think partnering with Google "works out" any worse than partnering with ANY big tech. They're all in it for themselves. Partners are partners until they're not. All of them tend to be stepping stones to achieve their own ends. Of course that's' the way partnerships work in almost any field. What's in it for each of the partners.

    So don't feel sorry for any of the players. They all have good business reasons for partnering on projects, tho some work together longer than others. 
  • Reply 14 of 26
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,472member
    Fix Or Repair Daily
    Found on Road Dead Fucked Over Rebuilt Dodge
    redgeminipa
  • Reply 15 of 26
    Something tells me these vehicles won’t have the Sync technology in them…
    The new QNX based Sync 3 is really good. Personally, I think it's the best car infotainment system on the market today. 
  • Reply 16 of 26
    cpsro said:
    Something tells me these vehicles won’t have the Sync technology in them…
    Yeah, but worse... they'll have Andruid.
    LOL. Andruid.
  • Reply 17 of 26
    Fix Or Repair Daily

    Flat-plane Offers Racing Domination
    edited December 2015
  • Reply 18 of 26
    humor aside, people—both in a google smart car or driving beside one—should be very concerned if there is any hint of android/google software being used.
  • Reply 19 of 26
    freerangefreerange Posts: 1,594member
    "The report goes on to say that Ford is looking to legally separate itself from the initiative to decrease exposure to liability" - smart move after the disaster of a partnership with MSFT SYNC. But still, why tie up with a company that will vacuum up every single bit of data regarding your car, even where and when you go anywhere, and then use the data to sell advertising. No thanks. Ford cars wouldn't even make my short list.
  • Reply 20 of 26
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,175member
    freerange said:
    "The report goes on to say that Ford is looking to legally separate itself from the initiative to decrease exposure to liability" - smart move after the disaster of a partnership with MSFT SYNC. But still, why tie up with a company that will vacuum up every single bit of data regarding your car, even where and when you go anywhere, and then use the data to sell advertising. No thanks. Ford cars wouldn't even make my short list.
    A couple of possibilities come to mind. Ford shares any income from advertising. Another possibility is that Google isn't getting any user data in the first place. Yet another would be that if any user data is shared it will be opt-in only and not opt-out and thus a non-issue for the most part.  My guess is the third possibility. 
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