Recent reports have indicated that Google and Ford might be in the process of striking a partnership that would create a company focused on one thing: making driverless vehicles.
There is chance that the new venture between Google and Ford has already been finalized, but neither company has come out and admitted this yet. Nonetheless, Ford will reportedly make the announcement around January, specifically during the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show next year. The automaker has a permit to test autonomous vehicles from the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) recently. Other vehicle makers granted permits include Volkswagen Group of America, Mercedes Benz, Tesla Motors, Nissan, BMW and Honda. And as expected, Google has also already been granted the same permit.
According to the report from Yahoo! Autos, Google has as much as 53 test vehicles hitting the streets of California and Texas right now. So far, these driverless test vehicles have covered around 1.3 million miles. Google’s commitment to continuously test these vehicles alone makes it a valuable partner to Ford which has only reportedly said it will start testing autonomous vehicles this month. Meanwhile, one of Google’s founders, Sergey Brin, stated earlier this year that the company is looking for automakers that would be able to utilize his company’s driverless technology. For Google, the goal behind promoting autonomous vehicles is simple: to prevent road accidents, ones resulting in as much as 33,000 deaths each year.
That said, it seems that if Google and Ford go ahead with their partnership, the relationship between the two may not be mutually exclusive. Google is reportedly on the lookout for other partners such as Mercedes Benz, Volvo and Nissan.