Google reportedly pursuing manufacturing partner for self-driving car

google reportedly pursuing manufacturing partner for self driving car
Google says its self-driving cars have covered about 1.2 million miles in testing on public roads, and the tech giant even built a few of those cars itself. But so far, Google has shown little apparent interest in actually selling cars to the public.

That may be changing, though. Google co-founder Sergey Brin says the company intends to partner with an existing manufacturer to bring self-driving cars to market, according to Autoblog. However, the firm may initially target car-sharing and ride-sharing services more than individual owners.

“We’re really focused on working with partners, Brin said. “I expect to bring it to scale, so more partnering, including with top-tier OEMs.”

The tiny pod-mobiles currently plying California and Texas roads could serve as the blueprint for a production self-driving car, but Google may have to make some alterations. Company officials originally wanted to eliminate the steering wheel and pedals, but California regulations required manual controls, and consumers may be uncomfortable with the idea of having no control over their vehicles, anyway.

Brin decided that cars will keep their steering wheels, for now at least. He also discussed the possibility of switching autonomous capability on and off. That could give people the opportunity to drive when they want to, or to hand over the controls if they don’t. It would also allow Google and its partner to preempt negative arguments about the loss of driving pleasure, or anxiety about robot overlords.

“I think we need to see both of those worlds, and I think there’s a future for both,” Brin said of the tension between the enjoyment of driving and the theorized efficiency benefits of autonomous cars. To some extent, it’s a future we’re already experiencing. Electronic aids like adaptive cruise control already augment human drivers, and the first wave of autonomous tech, including Tesla’s “Autopilot” and Cadillac’s “Super Cruise,” will still require humans to do a lot of the driving.


Volvo plans to face the future without sacrificing its identity

Volvo is embarking on an ambitious push to fill its lineup with electric and hybrid cars, as well as an infotainment partnership with Google. Volvo Americas CEO Anders Gustafsson explains how the Swedish automaker plans to pull that off.

U.K. on-demand car service plans autonomous vehicles in London by 2021

U.K.-based Addison Lee and Oxbotica allied to serve the connected and autonomous vehicle services market. Addison Lee is an established executive car service and Oxbotica develops self-driving car systems and fleet management software.

Bored with stock? The best tuner cars are begging to be modified

Modification has been around almost as long as the automobile itself. Here are 25 of the best tuner cars you can find, ranging from American muscle standouts to Japanese drift cars.

Hold on to your butts: These are the fastest cars in the world

Think your car is unbelievably fast? Think again. From wind-cheating bodywork to powerful engines, these cars were designed for the singular pursuit of speed (and it shows).

Workhorse takes on diesel with lighter, cheaper NGEN-1000 electric delivery van

Ohio-based Workhorse Group claims its new NGEN-1000 electric delivery van costs the same as a conventional diesel van and can haul a similar amount of cargo. A lower curb weight makes this possible.
Product Review

Audi's new A8 is so sophisticated and serene, it practically deletes potholes

The 2019 Audi A8’s outline looks promising: Level 3 autonomous driving capability, haptic-feedback infotainment screens, rear-wheel steering, Matrix LED headlights and OLED taillights, plus a predictive suspension.

Forget transponders with Peasy’s nationwide pay-as-you-go toll service

Verra Mobility launched Peasy, a consumer highway and bridge toll payment service. Designed to be less hassle than managing traditional transponder or toll tag accounts, Peasy pays tolls as they are levied across most of the U.S.

Just 10 people will get to put this limited-edition Audi R8 in their garages

The 2018 Audi R8 V10 Plus Competition makes use of Audi's motor sports experience to turn up the performance dial. Decreased weight and increased aerodynamic downforce make this R8 a track monster.

Porsche’s all-electric Taycan sedan will cost less than a Panamera

Porsche's Mission E concept won't change much as it transitions to a production model named Taycan that's scheduled to arrive in 2019. That means the sedan will keep the sleek design and its 800-volt charging system.

Tesla keeps promise with more affordable Model 3 with midrange battery pack

Tesla is keeping its promise of making the Model 3 gradually more affordable. The company released a new variant of the car with a mid-range, 260-mile battery option that's priced under the $50,000 mark.

The snake escapes: Ford’s 700-hp Mustang GT500 slithers online ahead of schedule

The Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 will return in 2019 with over 700 horsepower, Ford confirmed at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show. The GT500 will be the most powerful Ford production car ever.

Volkswagen’s next-generation lights will keep you safer, look good doing it

Volkswagen's new smart LED headlights, called IQ.Light, don't just light up the road in front of you to keep you, other drivers, and pedestrians safe. They also look dang good while doing it.

Adventurous and electric, Porsche’s second electric car will fill a new niche

Porsche surprised us at the Geneva Auto Show with an electric station wagon named Mission E Cross Turismo. Though it's a concept car, it could become a production model after the Mission E sedan arrives in showrooms.

Mustang-like and electrified. What did Ford just show a preview of?

Ford briefly flashed an enigmatic new model in a minute-long commercial starring Bryan Cranston. Its front end borrows styling cues from the 2019 Mustang, but it doesn't have a grille and its emblem is back-lit.