Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Google's self-driving car may be dead – but there's still hope

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Our hopes of cruising around town in a Google self-driving car – on our Google Pixel Android phone, watching Google Play Movies & TV – may now be dead.


Alphabet, Google’s parent company, is said to be veering away from making its own autonomous vehicle, according to The Information.


Instead of launching that adorable-looking Google car without a steering wheel or pedals in 2020, the company is expected to take a more practical path.


That new roadmap it said to involve Google partnering with big car makers on traditional-looking vehicles by providing what it knows best: sensors and software. 


More to come today


Google self-driving cars have logged more than two million autonomous miles (3.2m km), with a record-breaking 126,000 miles (202,000 km) in a single month.




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It’s only had a few crashes during the project’s eight-year history and has gone a long way to changing laws to make self-driving cars legal on public roadways.


Certainly, this isn’t the end of Google’s ambitious self-driving car efforts – just an end of the company’s desire to make its own car end-to-end.


Google is said to be staging an announcement later today, which may mark the official end of the car’s life at its experimental Google X lab and its induction into the bigger Alphabet family.


Google could also be announcing the next phase of its Fiat Chrysler deal or its plans for a ride-haling service, according to USA Today. It’s supposed to deliver 100 Pacifica minivans with its autonomous tech.


Rather than going it alone, Google-Fiat Chrysler’s combined efforts and rumored ride-sharing vehicle ambitions may be the quickest way to outmaneuver Uber, Ford and other firms that are doing the same thing right now.

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