Exciting news for car enthusiasts and technology lovers – the future of self-driving cars draws near, and they are one step closer to our doorsteps. Google recently signed on to produce self-driving cars with Ford Motor Company. With many calling the move a “step forward towards automated ride sharing”, the two companies will together create a separate legal company with both Ford and Google as the parent. A move many claims to be in order, to limit the liability against potential lawsuits.
Google has always claimed they were not interested in the technology of building cars; choosing instead to remain solely in the building of the software needed for the car’s operation. Working with Ford to create a vehicle and bring to market is a smart move — and one we’ll likely be seeing more of. Since the contract with Ford isn’t exclusive, many other car makers will likely be teaming up with the Internet giant in later years.
The signing of the contract between Ford and Google is no surprise to those who have stayed informed about the company. The self-driving portion recently hired John Krafcik, a former Ford employee for nearly 14 years, as CEO of the small off-shoot from Google; and Chris Urmson as Director.
Those hoping to purchase their own self-driving car will simply have to wait. The large expense required to create the self-automated software and hardware technology is currently considered too high for individual consumers. The cars currently in development are designed to be used for ride sharing purposes such as Ubers or taxis.
The deal will officially be announced during the 2016 CES show held in January. There has been no news of when a working model of the new self-driving car will be shown. We can expect, however, given Google’s history, a prototype will arrive later this year with a working model only a few years away.