Google to use partners, maybe Uber, in self-driving car release: Brin

Google to use partners, maybe Uber, in self-driving car release: Brin

Summary: Google has unveiled a self-driving car with a top speed of 25 miles per hour that is without pedals or a steering wheel.

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Using the pattern set for Android and the Nexus range of devices, Google co-founder Sergey Brin said the company would use a range of partners when it came time to release its self-driving car project.

"We've worked with partners to build these prototypes and we expect to work with partners in the future," Brin said at the Code Conference today.

Brin would not be drawn on the logistics of using the cars, saying that the company would sort it out closer to release

"We are most certainly going to partner with other companies, possibly Uber," he said.

google-selfcar
One of Google's current self-driving cars, with an artist's impression of a possible future vehicle. (Image: Google)

 

Earlier this month, Google added integration with Uber into Google Maps. Last year, Google Ventures invested US$250 in the taxi hiring service — Uber is currently said to be worth at least US$3 billion.

In a blog post, Chris Urmson, director of Google's self-driving car project, said that the project stated with a blank slate, and had a focus on safety.

"Our software and sensors do all the work. The vehicles will be very basic — we want to learn from them and adapt them as quickly as possible — but they will take you where you want to go at the push of a button," he said.

"They won’t have a steering wheel, accelerator pedal, or brake pedal... because they don’t need them."

The company plans to built "about a hundred" of the automated prototypes, before later in the year testing vehicles with manual controls.

"If all goes well, we'd like to run a small pilot program here in California in the next couple of years."

Topics: Google, Emerging Tech

About

Chris started his journalistic adventure in 2006 as the Editor of Builder AU after originally joining CBS as a programmer. After a Canadian sojourn, he returned in 2011 as the Editor of TechRepublic Australia, and is now the Australian Editor of ZDNet.

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9 comments
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  • Agenda?

    And so there's Brin, standing on a sidewalk in New York city, after a particular expensive dinner with a blind date and he is hailing a taxi.... "Hey!", "Hey YOU over here!", "Why the hell aren't any taxis pulling over?", "*whistle* Hey buddy!! Over here!!?". "Ok ok... FINE!! Arguhhhh, I swear, I will pay a billion dollars to drive you jerks out of business! NO ONE ignores me. I WILL HAVE MY REVENGE and ALL your families will ALL ...go hungry!! Muhahahahaha!" And then and there was born, the driverless taxi.
    DoctorEigenFlow
  • Propaganda...

    This is Google's propaganda...to keep itself in the news...

    remember Google Glass? ... its a colossal failure...so will be these self-driving cars...

    Google bosses are wasting share holders money to full-fill their various fantasies.
    Owl:Net
    • Are you a young person?

      I think you're probably not. I'm 30 and my peers are interested. I bet people around 21~22 years old are absolutely stoked.
      joshred
      • I am not interested.

        I am 24 years old and I am not "stoked" for a car that has no manual controls.
        CPPCrispy
      • No sense of history

        You'll soon learn what it means to be made obsolete.
        Jow_Blow
  • People enjoy driving

    I doubt this has commercial legs. People actually enjoy driving and being in control. I think the maket for self driving vehicles is very small and most likely limited to certain sections of mass transportation.

    I remember that scene in Wall E where humans just sit in motorised hover chairs, getting fatter and clogging their arteries with cholesterol! I think there'll come a point where automation is anti-human on several levels related to health, well being and the dangers of boredom!
    Xippy
  • I am not interested.

    I have had Google Maps take me to the wrong place so many times that I would not trust this car to take me to my destination. With that said, when I think of self driving cars, I think of the car Will Smith was driving in the movie I Robot. A car that has a manual mode for when I want to drive and self driving mode for when I don't.
    CPPCrispy
  • when?

    This may work, but will take atleast 10 years. A lot of work to be done on the gps software, roads, laws (different state laws), before this car is ready for the road.
    swhat
  • These vehicles will be subject to assault

    As they put drivers out of business.
    Jow_Blow