Google to Drop out of Making Autonomous Cars and Focus on the Operating System behind them for Auto Makers
It's being reported today that Google has apparently stopped working on its plan to develop its own completely autonomous cars, a report has claimed. According to The Information publication, the subdivision of Google's parent company, Alphabet, involved in developing self-driving cars has "scaled back" its ambitions.
The publication reports, from a number of anonymous sources, that Google has "backed off" its attempts to create a vehicle with no steering wheel or pedals in favor of making partnerships with existing vehicle manufacturers and sticking to developing and supplying the brains / operating system for autonomous vehicles.
Google announced its first deal with a vehicle producer in May. Working with Fiat-Chrysler, the company is building 100 autonomous Pacifica minivans. The car manufacturer is said to be providing the vans and Google would add its autonomous software with the aim of getting the vehicles on the road before the end of 2016. At the time, Google said the partnership would be "the first time we've worked directly with an automaker to create our vehicles".
Since Google's autonomous vehicles were first publicly announced, they have been tested on public roads in the US. In October, Dmitri Dolgov, the head of Google's self-driving technology, announced its vehicles have collectively driven more than two million miles – the equivalent of 300 years of human driving experience. "Our team is more confident than ever of a fully self-driving future," he said. In May 2016 Google created a "self-driving technology development centre" in the US.
According to Wired, Google will be hosting a press event in California today on its work with self-driving cars so it is likely there will be more to come on its efforts very shortly.
Apple has also been working on a carOS and Patently Apple covered this topic in an October report titled "Apple's Canadian Office is Focused on Developing carOS." In order to test out carOS in real-world scenarios, Apple has to test drive autonomous vehicles. Earlier this month Patently Apple covered another two reports on this subject matter titled "Apple Sends Feedback to the National Highway Traffic Administration on Key Policies Regarding Autonomous Vehicles," and "Part Two: Apple's full Letter to the National Highway Traffic Administration."
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