Google And Ford Will Reportedly Team Up To Build Self-Driving Cars

24 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Ford In Blockbuster Talks With Google To Build Self-Driving Cars.

“It’s a constant debate inside our group,” said Raj Rajkumar, co-director of the General Motors-Carnegie Mellon Autonomous Driving Collaborative Research Lab in Pittsburgh. “And we have basically decided to stick to the speed limit. Google and Ford are planning to develop and build self-driving vehicles together in a joint venture and will announce the deal at next month’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, says a report in Yahoo Autos.

Google is said to be in talks with automaker Ford Motor Co to help build the Internet search company’s autonomous cars, Automotive News reported, citing a person with knowledge of the project. And I would be one of those people.” Last year, Rajkumar offered test drives to members of Congress in his lab’s self-driving Cadillac SRX sport utility vehicle. According to Yahoo Autos’ sources, the deal is not exclusive, which means Google would be free to work with other automakers who are interested in its self-driving car technology. Earlier this year, Google began discussions with most of the world’s top automakers and assembled a team of traditional and nontraditional suppliers to speed efforts to bring self-driving cars to the market by 2020.

A Google spokesman told Automotive News that the company would not comment on speculation, although Google officials confirmed that the company is talking to automakers. The Caddy performed perfectly, except when it had to merge onto I-395 South and swing across three lanes of traffic in 150 yards to head toward the Pentagon The car’s cameras and laser sensors detected traffic in a 360-degree view but didn’t know how to trust that drivers would make room in the ceaseless flow, so the human minder had to take control to complete the maneuver. “We end up being cautious,” Rajkumar said. “We don’t want to get into an accident because that would be front-page news. Being the first company to strike a deal with Google, however, may give Ford an edge over rivals, including Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Volvo, and Tesla, that are also working on self-driving cars and eager to get them to market. People expect more of autonomous cars.” Turns out, though, their accident rates are twice as high as for regular cars, according to a study by the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute in Ann Arbor, Mich.

During the last CES in January 2014, Ford chief executive offier Mark Fields said that he believes somebody will introduce autonomous vehicles within the next five years. Driverless vehicles have never been at fault, the study found: They’re usually hit from behind in slow-speed crashes by inattentive or aggressive humans unaccustomed to machine motorists that always follow the rules and proceed with caution. The report says the joint venture would legally be considered separate from Ford, which means the automaker would have a buffer against accepting responsibility if any of its self-driving cars were involved in a collision. It’s similar to the thorny ethical issues driverless car creators are wrestling with over how to program them to make life-or-death decisions in an accident.

This has been a sticking point for car companies, since there are currently no regulations in places that are tailored for autonomous vehicles (Volvo, Mercedes-Benz, and Google have each stated, however, that they will accept liability for autonomous vehicle accidents). In turn, Google gets a partner to help it handle the expense and hassle of actually manufacturing autonomous vehicles, especially if it plans to make cars available for personal ownership as well as transportation systems. It published proposed rules this week that would require a human always to be ready to take the wheel and also compel companies creating the cars to file monthly reports on their behavior. Google — which developed a model with no steering wheel or gas pedal — said it is “gravely disappointed” in the proposed rules, which could set the standard for autonomous-car regulations nationwide. The most recent reported incident was Nov. 2 in Mountain View, Calif., Google’s headquarters, when a self-driving Google Lexus SUV attempted to turn right on a red light. “The right thing would have been for this car to pull over, let the traffic go and then pull back on the roadway,” said Sergeant Saul Jaeger, head of the police department’s traffic- enforcement unit. “I like it when people err on the side of caution.

But autonomous models still surprise human drivers with their quick reflexes, coming to an abrupt halt, for example, when they sense a pedestrian near the edge of a sidewalk who might step into traffic. “These vehicles are either stopping in a situation or slowing down when a human driver might not,” said Brandon Schoettle, co-author of the Michigan study. “They’re a little faster to react, taking drivers behind them off guard.” “They do behave differently,” said Egil Juliussen, senior director at consultant IHS Technology and author of a study on how Google leads development of autonomous technology. “It’s a problem that I’m sure Google is working on, but how to solve it is not clear.” “There’s a learning curve for everybody,” said Jaeger, of the Mountain View Police, which interacts more with driverless cars than any other law-enforcement unit. “Computers are learning, the programmers are learning and the people are learning to get used to these things.”

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