Google preps self-driving car facility near Detroit as Chrysler partnership ramps up

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Google on Wednesday announced plans to launch a "self-driving technology development center" in Novi, Mich., just outside the home of the American auto industry in Detroit.




The facility will span 53,000 square feet, and allow easier collaboration with industry partners -- as well as recruiting more talent in the sector, Google said. The move-in process should span the rest of 2016.

Google didn't elaborate much farther on what the center will handle, but did say that one of its first objectives will be preparing self-driving Pacifica minivans in partnership with Fiat Chrysler.

Many corporations across the auto and high-tech industies are beginning to partner on self-driving vehicles, from Google through to ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft. Indeed, Apple's $1 billion investment in Didi Chuxing could be connected, since ridesharing firms are ultimately expected to cut out human drivers, or even become a primary source of transportation.

Earlier this month a report claimed that Apple was eyeing 800,000 square feet in California for self-driving car work. The company is expected to ship some form of electric car in 2019 or 2020, though the first model may or may not be autonomous. Apple is allegedly developing charging infrastructure in preparation.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,412member
    Tesla has really helped kick the next generation of cars into gear and the combination of modern electrics, automated driving and/or ride-sharing is going to result in some interesting things. Google partners with Fiat Chrysler, Apple invests in Didi, Toyota invests in Uber, GM invested in Lyft...
    edited May 2016 lord amhran
  • Reply 2 of 16
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    This is gonna be what? Giggle's 10th failed problem in a row?
    patchythepiratelordjohnwhorfin
  • Reply 3 of 16
    why-why- Posts: 305member
    I think it'll be really interesting to see where cars go next. not much has been happening in that world lately; I believe it's time for a break-through
    slprescott
  • Reply 4 of 16
    mwhitemwhite Posts: 168member
    I'll buy one if they are selling for $5 haha
  • Reply 5 of 16
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    Another PR stock pumping tidbit... I think half of the CEO's office job is basically pumping their stock : "good jobs" (sic) guys.
  • Reply 6 of 16
    dick applebaumdick applebaum Posts: 12,504member

    It's a deal if the self-driving car has a Nest Smoke Detector  :)

    slprescottmonstrosityirelandlordjohnwhorfinrepressthis
  • Reply 7 of 16
    badmonkbadmonk Posts: 742member
    Google will be investing in a self-driving car facility outside of Novi MI...until they lose interest and move onto the next uncompleted project.

    Seriously they have completed any major task?  

    Woe onto any engineer that takes up this opportunity.
    patchythepirate
  • Reply 8 of 16
    revenantrevenant Posts: 480member
    tesla has a handsome looking electric car. google has a cutesy looking car that looks like the one my niece pushes around the yard with her feet. 
    lordjohnwhorfinrepressthisRayz2016mwhite
  • Reply 9 of 16
    theothergeofftheothergeoff Posts: 2,075member
    cali said:
    This is gonna be what? Giggle's 10th failed problem in a row?
    failing isn't a bad thing when you succeed big occasionally.

    For apple to succeed in the MP3 player market it needed a whole bunch of companies to define the market demand.  Same with smart phones.  iPad was really a outlier, really, every tablet PC sold for the prior 15 [i was looking at them in '95 for a medical application] years wanted to be the iPad.

    Face it, Apple rarely defines a market.  It refines it.  Let Tesla and Google define the space, create demand for a $50,000 car (the optics and radar at first  will be at least a $10K add-on to a base car price, if not more), drive the volumes up to a couple million a year in sales, and drive down the component prices  and Apple can come in and establish 'better,' primarily through software and user experience.

    And this isn't a phone, where you can impulse buy a one with a credit card for $99...   So my guess is Apple will hit the market about 2 years after Tesla and Google sell 300K annually (2020?) .

    And the comment about Apple and charging infrastructure... you'll note the iPad was nothing, without iTunes.  The iPhone nothing without AppStore. 

    One big issue with electrics is charging at night, for people who don't own homes... Most apt buildings won't subsidize a couple hundred KVA a month for their renters.

    Infrastructure is important.


    fotoformat
  • Reply 10 of 16
    Partnering with a manufacturer who can't design a car that does not fall apart at 80K... Good call Google.
  • Reply 11 of 16
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,518member
    cali said:
    This is gonna be what? Giggle's 10th failed problem in a row?
    failing isn't a bad thing when you succeed big occasionally.

    For apple to succeed in the MP3 player market it needed a whole bunch of companies to define the market demand.  Same with smart phones.  iPad was really a outlier, really, every tablet PC sold for the prior 15 [i was looking at them in '95 for a medical application] years wanted to be the iPad.

    Face it, Apple rarely defines a market.  It refines it.  Let Tesla and Google define the space, create demand for a $50,000 car (the optics and radar at first  will be at least a $10K add-on to a base car price, if not more), drive the volumes up to a couple million a year in sales, and drive down the component prices  and Apple can come in and establish 'better,' primarily through software and user experience.

    And this isn't a phone, where you can impulse buy a one with a credit card for $99...   So my guess is Apple will hit the market about 2 years after Tesla and Google sell 300K annually (2020?) .

    And the comment about Apple and charging infrastructure... you'll note the iPad was nothing, without iTunes.  The iPhone nothing without AppStore. 

    One big issue with electrics is charging at night, for people who don't own homes... Most apt buildings won't subsidize a couple hundred KVA a month for their renters.

    Infrastructure is important.


    This is why Apple won't sell you a car. In the future, the only people buying cars will be enthusiasts. The rest of us will just rent them as and when needed. You order your car, drive it, and when you're done it disappears somewhere for cleaning and recharging. 
  • Reply 12 of 16
    prolineproline Posts: 184member
    failing isn't a bad thing when you succeed big occasionally.
    It's actually getting to be a good long while since Google succeeded big with anything that matters to me. Their newest product that I use is probably Maps, and thats from a decade ago now. They get lots of good PR for their "moonshots"- Glass, Cars, eternal life, etc.- but it's been a while since one of these turned into a real product. 
  • Reply 13 of 16
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    cali said:
    This is gonna be what? Giggle's 10th failed problem in a row?
    failing isn't a bad thing when you succeed big occasionally.

    For apple to succeed in the MP3 player market it needed a whole bunch of companies to define the market demand.  Same with smart phones.  iPad was really a outlier, really, every tablet PC sold for the prior 15 [i was looking at them in '95 for a medical application] years wanted to be the iPad.

    Face it, Apple rarely defines a market.  It refines it.  Let Tesla and Google define the space, create demand for a $50,000 car (the optics and radar at first  will be at least a $10K add-on to a base car price, if not more), drive the volumes up to a couple million a year in sales, and drive down the component prices  and Apple can come in and establish 'better,' primarily through software and user experience.

    And this isn't a phone, where you can impulse buy a one with a credit card for $99...   So my guess is Apple will hit the market about 2 years after Tesla and Google sell 300K annually (2020?) .

    And the comment about Apple and charging infrastructure... you'll note the iPad was nothing, without iTunes.  The iPhone nothing without AppStore. 

    One big issue with electrics is charging at night, for people who don't own homes... Most apt buildings won't subsidize a couple hundred KVA a month for their renters.

    Infrastructure is important.


    Actually, there is a reason why big company buy startups, instead of trying to do moonshots internally, they almost always fail.

    What Musk and Bezos are doing with spaceflight are ironically not actual moonshots, because the tech and the market is actually well understood.
    Musk's riskiest venture is the Tesla, not the spaceship!

    The best thing for big companies is establish what business they want to be in, and then be on the lookout for small emerging startups that are working in that business.
    Almost all of them will fail, the big players can them just buy out the survivors. Most of Cisco was built that way.

    Most of Google's post 1998 successes have been in buying successful startups that they could make even
    more successful through their clout (Youtube being the best example of that, but also Android).

    There is nothing really wrong with doing this kind of integration work, Apple does it all the time.
    Big companies, because they got the money, can reduce risk that way and get the best tech (highly "unfair" to everyone else, but hey that's why big companies stay big).

    In fact, what makes Apple great is that they're so good at buying small startups with good IP or talent and then integrating those tech into their own.
    Google has not been nearly as good at this kind of thing.

    The Iphone was a miracle of integration of various techs that had come of age; that's why it came from Apple and not someone else.

    PS: Funny enough, I think Siri is one of their failure in that area. The integration in that case was not done well. I suspect some internal resistance with the Siri team.





    edited May 2016
  • Reply 14 of 16
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,698member
    revenant said:
    tesla has a handsome looking electric car. google has a cutesy looking car that looks like the one my niece pushes around the yard with her feet. 
    LOL. . .
    As you know Tesla makes a car for consumer's to buy, so it needs to be attractive. Google is developing autonomous software for cars to be built by others and created a platform to use for testing it. Using a cute little non-threatening shell for it is a good move IMO, and certainly gets attention, almost always a plus. 
  • Reply 15 of 16
    Partnering with a manufacturer who can't design a car that does not fall apart at 80K... Good call Google.
    Fiat from your far away youth is not the same as Fiat is today (you know the one that owns Chrysler)
  • Reply 16 of 16
    metalcasemetalcase Posts: 23member
    Rayz2016 said:
    This is why Apple won't sell you a car. In the future, the only people buying cars will be enthusiasts. The rest of us will just rent them as and when needed. You order your car, drive it, and when you're done it disappears somewhere for cleaning and recharging. 
    Totally agree!  I don't believe Apple will ever sell a single car, but it will be a multi-billion dollar money maker for them. But it won't be rent as you need it either. It will go in the direction all their services are going, a flat rate per month subscription. Probably $1000/month with 200 to 400 miles. 
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