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Google and Continental partner to develop self-driving cars

Two of the biggest names in self-driving cars are joining forces. Google and Continental will announce a partnership to further development of robot car tech, Reuters reports.

The exact nature of the agreement will be announced at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, which begins September 12. Continental is also pursuing a collaboration with IBM.

The pairing could mean big things for driverless cars. Google has been testing driverless cars (with a “driver” in the car monitoring the driving) on California roads since 2010, and even lobbied to have the machines’ presence on public roads in the Golden State and Nevada formally legalized to further their development.

Continental is a major automotive supplier, producing everything from tires to stability control systems. It has also taken a major interest in automated driving, testing cars of its own and partnering with BMW to develop an autopilot system for highway driving.

“Automated driving is set to become just as much a standard part of driving as anti-lock brakes 35 years ago and electronic stability control in 1995,” Christian Senger, Continental’s head of research for automotive electronics, said at the Zulieferer Innovativ 2013 conference in Munich last month.

Continental is also working with Cisco to establish data transfer networks between cars, also known as V2V technology.

Given how much time and cash both companies have invested in self-driving cars, an alliance between Google and Continental seems like the proverbial match made in heaven. Check back here for more information when the partnership is formally announced in Frankfurt.

Are you excited for automated cars, or do you think only humans belong in the driver’s seat? Tell us in the comments.

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