Car And Us.com has learned that Google and Ford have been negotiating the conditions of a joint venture to build a self-driving car. According to Yahoo Autos, the partnership was announced by Ford at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Yahoo Autos also advanced that even though the details of the partnership are unclear, the venture will be legally separated from Ford to protect the company from liability concerns and it will not be an exclusive deal, which means that Google will be able to produce the self-driving software to be used by other car companies.
These vehicles will be built with Google’s technology, a huge step by both companies regarding a new business of automated ride sharing but speculations are being made and questions are being raised: Why Google and Ford would want to team up on self-driving cars.
By pairing with Ford, Google avoids spending billions of dollars and several years on negotiating with automotive manufacturers and building its own vehicle and acquiring all the knowledge behind building a car. Google is also looking for manufacturing partners that would use the company’s self-driving system, which it could someday reduce the 33,000 annual deaths on U.S. roads. Ford is a big automaker with global reach that would get a huge advance in self-driving software development, since they have been working on it, but their technology is not as advanced as Google and Tesla (Fortune).
Also, both companies have similar visions for the future of self-driving cars. Both plan to move much faster towards a fully autonomous car, while other automotive monsters are more focused on a step-by-step approach focusing more on using computing to assist drivers, according to Fortune.