A taxi with no driver? Google and Ford plan ridesharing service with self-driving cars
Google and Ford plan to form a ride sharing service to compete with Uber. (Twitter)
Google and Ford are expected to announce a new joint venture at CES 2016, regarding self driving cars. The plan is to eventually build self driving cars and a ride sharing network to rival that of Uber.
Yahoo Autos reports on the plan, which sounds quite reminiscent of the way Google partners with other companies to make its Nexus devices. Google will be providing the computer part of the car, while Ford will work on the actual vehicle itself, which would hopefully look better than Google’s white bubble car. This partnership makes perfect sense, as Google lacks the manufacturing horsepower of Ford, and Ford lacks the self driving technology advancements made by Google.
While Ford’s first autonomous vehicle hits public roads this month, Google’s vehicle has already clocked up over 1.3 million autonomous miles driven. The deal is said to be non-exclusive, meaning Google and Ford could possibly partner with another carmaker on future models.
The more interesting aspect of this partnership is the fact that Google and Ford do not intend to sell these cars to individuals, but instead to create a competitor ride sharing services to compete with the likes of Uber. This is perhaps in line with Google’s larger business model where it puts its products at the center of networks and ecosystems.
It is still to be seen how these arrangements will play out, but Ford is said to be nervous about liability issues. But if the car projects spins out to be a separate business unit of Alphabet, Ford will invest some cash into it.