Google Reportedly Puts Brakes On Its Bold Self-Driving Car Project
A paywalled report in The Information says that Alphabet CEO Larry Page and CFO Ruth Porat determined that Google's aggressive approach to autonomous vehicles was "impractical." Page is also said to be wary of continuing on the same path due to the growing competition in the field. What started off as an exploratory field has turned into a race to commercialize self-driving technologies.
This doesn't mean Google is getting out of the field altogether. Last May, Google signed a deal with Fiat Chrysler to implement its self-driving technology into 100 Pacificas. Going forward it would not be surprising to see more deals like that one, including an expansion of its agreement with Chrysler, though that is speculation on our part.
What started off as a niche category has become a crowded field as of late. Self-driving technology has drawn the attention high-tech firms and automakers alike, including Google, NVIDIA, Ford, Audi, Volvo, and others. It's also attracted startups such as Drive.ai and even Uber, the latter of which started picking up passengers in Pittsburgh last summer.