Daily Management Review

Media Reports Claim Google in Talks with Ford for Building its Self Driving Cars


Media Reports Claim Google in Talks with Ford for Building its Self Driving Cars
Citing a person with knowledge of the matter, reports in the Automotive News claims that Google is in talks with automaker Ford Motor Co to help build the Internet search company's autonomous cars.
It has been reported that the possible deal, if finalized, would be concluded at the annual International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas during the first week of January, said the Automotive News report.
Google did not react nor offer any comment on the issue, although Google officials confirmed that the company is talking to automakers.
With the aim to speed efforts to bring self-driving cars to the market by 2020, Google reportedly assembled a team of traditional and nontraditional suppliers and began discussions with most of the world's top automakers earlier this year..
Tests were conducted of tiny, bubble-shaped self-driving prototype vehicles of its own design on public roads around Mountain View in June by Google. Testing self-driving prototypes in Austin was also conducted by the company.
Earlier, there were reports by Bloomberg that by next year, Google is expected to make its self-driving cars unit, which will offer rides for hire, a stand-alone business under its parent company, Alphabet Inc.
Earlier this year Ford said it would expand advanced safety technology, including automatic braking, enabling hands-free operation of cars under certain conditions by automating such basic functions as steering, braking and throttle. The company has been relatively late in reacting to the rising trend of development of driverless cars by the other leading auto companies of the world.
This was to be included across its global lineup over the next five years.
Ford spokesman Alan Hall neither confirmed nor denied a possible deal.
“We work with a lot of tech companies all over the world. We keep these discussions private for obvious competitive reasons and we do not comment on speculation,” he said.
Two veteran Ford executives have been added to its leadership team by Google. Eight days after his retired from the automaker on July 1, 2014, former Ford CEO Alan Mulally had joined Google’s board of directors. John Krafcik was hired as the CEO of Google’s Self-Driving Car Project in September. Krafcik was most recently, the president of TrueCar Inc. and was CEO of Hyundai Motor America. Earlier he was also employed at Ford for 14 years which included a stint as chief engineer during the development of the Ford Expedition SUV.
It has been reported that Ford CEO, Mark Fields, product development chief Raj Nair, research and advanced engineering vice president Ken Washington, and Don Butler, executive director of connected vehicles and services would be present at a scheduled hold a press conference Jan. 5 in Las Vegas.
There are also reports that the proposed deal would create a joint venture legally separate from Ford where the venture would shield Ford from potential liability. Reports also stated the deal would be of a non-exclusive nature that would keep Google’s options open to negotiate a similar deal with another automaker.
(Source:www.reuters.com & www.autonews.com)