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

Google has unveiled a self-driving car with a top speed of 25 miles per hour that is without pedals or a steering wheel.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor

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.

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."

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