The largest US automaker and the third biggest in the world – General Motors – has declared itself interested in partnering with the world’s largest technology company – search giant Google Inc. in the field of self-driving car technology.
Jon Lauckner, the chief technology officer for the US carmaker said during the press days of the North American International Auto Show “we’d certainly be open to having a discussion with them,” with the comments coming just ahead of a scheduled press conference held on the sidelines of the Detroit motor show that would see Chris Urmson, the leader of Google’s self-driving car project, making an appearance for a speech. He is expected by analysts and industry experts to announce that Google itself is open to partnerships within the traditional auto industry. Both carmakers and technology companies are now in a full head on race to develop and market vehicles that can greatly enhance driving safety and ultimately lead to cars that can be autonomously operated.
Google and the automakers seem to be at odds when it comes to how and in what form driverless cars should appear – with traditional carmakers seeking a gradual introduction of features that would lead to cars communication with each other, the environment and ultimately able to drive without any human assistance. Meanwhile, Google has presented the prototype of a small vehicle that lacks any common traits with a normal car – no steering wheel or pedals – and envisions them as perhaps implicated in a broader transport project that would supplement the usual forms of inner-city commute.