Self-driving car, anyone? Google approaches automakers for possible partnership deal

new york state self driving cars busy driverThe day we can jump into our car and drive to work while doing a crossword, engaging in a game of Draw Something or taking a nap may be a step closer, as Google presses ahead with the development of its self-driving automobile.

The Mountain View company announced this week that it is currently looking for partners to help bring its project to fruition, hopefully within the next 10 years. And Google’s not the only one believing the roads will one day be filled with self-driving vehicles — the great-grandson of car pioneer Henry Ford also said recently that he believed we could be flicking the autopilot switch in our vehicles by 2025.

Google’s Anthony Levananowski, who’s directly involved in the company’s ambitious project, said that in the coming years his team plans to do “millions of miles” of road tests.

Speaking at the Society of Automotive Engineers conference in Detroit this week, Levananowski said, “We’re talking to every car company to see what their level of excitement is.”

It’s not yet known if other car makers will want to join forces with Google or continue developing driverless cars by themselves. BMW recently unveiled some of its own autonomous driving technology — ConnectedDrive Connect (CDC) — which uses a large number of sensors to help it negotiate traffic.

Google’s self-driving vehicle has been in and out of the headlines since the company first started testing driverless automobiles two years ago. In August last year it proved its technology wasn’t quite ready when one of its test cars was seen rear-ending another vehicle, although the company claimed its car was actually being controlled by a human at the time.

Whatever the truth, it seems the technology has come along leaps and bounds with news just last month of a blind resident in California test driving (or rather, just sitting in the driving seat and possibly praying) one of Google’s driverless vehicles to a fast food restaurant. The journey, we’re happy to report, was a crash-free success.

[Via: Wall Street Journal] [Image: Vava Vladimir Jovanovic / Shutterstock]

Product Review

Chris is the virtual co-pilot phone-obsessives need in their car

Driving while using your phone is dangerous, and often illegal. Meet Chris, the digital assistant for your car that wants to help keep your hands off your phone, and your eyes on the road.
Cars

Tesla lets you skip the dealership, order a car from the comfort of your couch

Tesla has always bypassed traditional dealerships, and it has now adopted an online-only sales model that lets customers configure and order their car without leaving their couch. Here's what you need to know.
Cars

Volvo wants to use speed limiters, in-car cameras, and data to reduce crashes

Volvo believes new tech is the best way to improve car safety. The Swedish automaker will let owners set speed limits when loaning out their cars, install cameras to monitor drivers, and use data to design better safety features.
Cars

Waymo boosts robo-taxi plans with new service center in Arizona

Waymo has announced plans for a facility in Phoenix, Arizona, that will help to service, maintain, and grow its fleet of autonomous Waymo One cars. The vehicles operate as part of the company's robo-taxi ridesharing service.
Cars

This modified Land Rover Discovery is heading to Africa to help fight malaria

A Land Rover Discovery will be used by the Mobile Malaria Project for a 3,900-mile trek across Africa to study malaria. The SUV is equipped with a mobile gene-sequencing laboratory, as well as everything necessary for serious off-roading.
Cars

BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe teased way ahead of its November debut

The BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe is coming to the United States, eventually. The new compact BMW won't be unveiled until the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show in November. The Gran Coupe will be based on a front-wheel drive platform.
Product Review

The Ferrari Portofino is the super stallion you’ll want to drive every day

With the introduction of the Portofino, Ferrari addresses the California T’s stylistic shortcomings while improving comfort, convenience, and performance. There’s little “entry-level” about this super stallion.
Cars

Autonomous shuttle rides coming to New York City via Optimus Ride

Workers at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in NY City will soon be able to make their way around the 300-acre industrial park in Optimus Ride's self-driving shuttles. The tech startup says it's the first trial of its kind in the state.
Cars

Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi group uses Microsoft cloud platform for connected cars

The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance is launching a new cloud platform for its cars. Based on Microsoft Azure, the Alliance Intelligent Cloud will enable features like connected services and over-the-air updates.
Cars

The 2019 Toyota C-HR gains a popular tech feature as its price comes down

Toyota has updated the C-HR, its entry-level crossover, by adding an entry-level trim level to the lineup. Every model regardless of price also comes standard with an 8.0-inch touchscreen compatible with Apple CarPlay.
Product Review

2019 Volkswagen Jetta offers German refinement and tech at an affordable price

With enough tech to make villains jealous, the Volkswagen Jetta punches above its class as a forward-thinking sedan. Spacious, comfortable, and efficient, the Jetta is a refined offering. German refinement comes with a serious attitude.
Cars

The 2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupe is an exercise in form-over-function design

Porsche expanded its lineup of SUVs with a swoopier evolution of the Cayenne named Cayenne Coupe. Don't let the name fool you: it still has four doors. It stands out with a fastback-like roofline that's lower than the Cayenne's.
Cars

Protect yourself and your ride with our favorite dash cams

Dashboard cameras can assist drivers in car accident claims, settle speeding ticket disputes, and even catch glimpses of incoming meteors, among other things. Here, we've compiled a list of the most noteworthy offerings available.
Cars

Tesla revives its referral program with chances to win a Roadster

Tesla has revived its referral program that ended in February because of cost pressures. This time around the perks aren't quite as diverse, though it does offer regular chances to win a Roadster or Model Y.