Ford, Google Reportedly Forging Self Driving Car, Ride Sharing Partnership
Nothing is yet official -- all the information that exists on the joint venture is coming from "three sources familiar with the plans" who spoke with Yahoo Autos
If Google and Ford do in fact team up, it could be big for both companies and help accelerate self-driving technology to maturity. For Ford, the pairing helps it avoid having to invest billions of dollars in research and development that's already been tackled by Google, and for the search giant, it makes sense to team up with a large automaker that could readily equip a fleet of vehicles with self-driving senors.
Details of the partnership are pretty sparse, though there are some interesting tidbits to digest. One of them involves liability. According to the aforementioned sources, the joint venture would be a separate entity from Ford in order to protect the automaker from any lawsuits that may arise.
It's also said that the partnership will be non-exclusive, meaning Google would be free to shop its technology to other automakers and technology firms. We imagine there will be some exceptions, but won't know for sure until there's an official announcement.
One of the ways this partnership could benefit Google is by having a major automaker lobby for more favorable rules. Just last week, Google said it was "gravely disappointed" with a proposed set of rules for autonomous vehicles set out by California's DMV." One of the things that perturbed Google was the proposed requirement that autonomous vehicles be equipped with a steering wheel and have a specially licensed driver at the ready.