Report claims that new partnership on autonomous vehicles will be revealed at CES 2016 next month
Google is set to announce a tie-up with carmaker Ford at the CES 2016 event in Las Vegas next month which will reveal that the two companies will now work together on developing self-driving vehicles.
This new partnership will be separate from Google’s existing work on autonomous vehicles, which has been ongoing since 2009, according to Yahoo Autos.
Driving Google forward
The sources report that the venture would be separate from Ford, in part to legally shield the company from liability concerns in case of any accidents involving the vehicles.
Ford has been greatly accelerating its research into future vehicles within recent months, with new investment pushing it right to the forefront of automotive development as part of the company’s ten-year plan to develop a fully autonomous car.
Earlier this week, Ford said that it would soon be sending its fully self-driving Ford Fusion Hybrid fleet of vehicles onto public roads after securing a California autonomous vehicle driving permit to begin testing.
The company said it now has over a hundred researchers, engineers and scientists on staff at its Research and Innovation Centre in Palo Alto, making it one of the largest automotive research centres in the industry.
The partnership could also be a major development for Google’s automotive aspirations, which earlier this week were revealed to be taking a whole new form with the creation of a separate business within its Alphabet umbrella company.
The new business will reportedly launch a fleet of vehicles offering rides for hire in locations such as college campuses, airports and corporate business parks, with San Francisco and Austin set to be the first locations.
Google’s existing vehicles, which have been tested thoroughly on the streets surrounding the company’s Mountain View headquarters, are limited to 25mph and also feature removable steering wheels, accelerator and brake pedals to ensure the drivers can also gain control if needed.
Google has also been testing a fleet of 23 specially equipped Lexus prototypes, which so far has logged more than one million test miles, in an effort to provide a slightly more luxurious option.
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