Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google and president of parent company Alphabet has deviated from the subjects of the press event on Tuesday (read Nexus announcements) to discuss their upcoming self-driving cars.
Brin said his forecast is for the technology giant to partner with “top-tier OEMs” when it’s time to deliver the company’s autonomous vehicles to the market. The impromptu remarks also hinted the company would initially establish a new kind of business – something in the line of driverless taxis – but will ultimately move on from the concept of shared cars to having the technology available for personal usage as well. “It remains open exactly how we’re going to roll it out, ” Brin said. “In the near term, there’s a real upshot of making it a service, which enables a lot of people to try it out.”
Google has been among the first technology companies to start working on a large scale autonomous project, researching driverless autos since 2009 and now has a custom-designed and built two-seat prototype design since last year. Manufactured in Michigan by Roush Enterprises, the autonomous test bed already incorporates elements from well-known parts suppliers such as Bosch and Continental. Traditional global automakers – luxury or mass-market – are also racing to deliver their own take on the autonomous car, a segment expected to quickly explode over the span of just a few years in the near future. Brin eschewed a direct answer when asked by the media if they see the company entering the automotive industry as a manufacturer, instead saying they were “open to many ways of using this technology,” and their final goal was to make it accessible to as many people in the not so distant future.
Via Automotive News