Google is reported to have shelved plans to develop its own self-driving vehicle in favor of nurturing partnerships with existing car makers to continue its work in the automotive space.

According to The Information, the company's autonomous car unit, known internally as Chauffeur, is working with established car companies to develop vehicles that will include self-driving features, while ditching earlier plans to remove the steering wheel and pedal controls. The news follows on from reports back in May that Google is actively working with Fiat Chrysler on automotive projects.

google_self_driving_car
Despite the shift in gears for its car project, sources suggest Google still has plans to bring an autonomous taxi service to U.S. roads before the end of 2017. Its autonomous vehicles have already clocked over two million miles of tests on public roads.

Recent reports regarding Apple's ambitions in the autonomous vehicle space appear to have taken a similar hard turn away from developing an own-branded electric car. The Cupertino company is said to have shelved its original automotive program "for now" in favor of building a self-driving software platform, possibly in partnership with existing car makers.

In a letter earlier this month to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Apple admitted to its interest in "machine learning and automation" as it pertains to transportation, and confirmed its desire to help define rules for the self-driving car industry in the future.

Tag: Google

Top Rated Comments

T'hain Esh Kelch Avatar
61 months ago
Pfft.. Google is just copying Apple again!
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Abazigal Avatar
61 months ago
The only company that has nailed it so far is Tesla. Other companies are years off.
Nailed what exactly?

All tesla has shown is that they can make an electric car. If they can deliver on their orders, that is.

Even their self-driving tech is nowhere near prime time.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
joueboy Avatar
61 months ago
Google doesn't do this to actually make a product available to the market. That's a lot of responsibility if Google actually makes that happen. What Google did is brilliant for its own good as usual. They develop something that people talks about and gets them excited especially the media. All they do is to pretend to be always relevant to the tech and keeps its title as innovators of tech without actually innovating. They have to keep it that way to preserve their business model as the leader of search engine that brings billions of dollars to their table. As long that we get excited and talk about Google every year of their awesome new product, they will remain in the top spot. They know how to play the game in business.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
theluggage Avatar
61 months ago
The only company that has nailed it so far is Tesla. Other companies are years off.
Actually, the back-pedalling may have been Tesla's fault because of the negative publicity generated by AutoPilot.

The problem with self-drive is that it won't be ready until it can demonstrate that it is virtually infallible. Rational thinking may suggest that it only has to be as good as the average driver to produce a major advance in road safety - but unfortunately, rational thinking won't have much of a role in the public and legal acceptance of self-driving.

For a while, every incident involving a self-driving car is going to be international front-page news. The first court case over a third-party death caused by a self-driving car is going to be a media circus. Adoption of self-driving cars is going to depend on changes in the law on liability and insurance (are you going to get into a self-driving car if you're liable for the consequences of bugs in Tesla/Google/Apple's last software update?)

Reality is, our pathologically risk-averse society has developed an irrational blind spot when it comes to letting a fallible human control a ton of metal hurtling around at 70mph (the accident rate is actually quite low, considering - turns out that ape brains evolved to tarzan through the trees are really good at it). That free pass isn't going to be extended to robots.

I think we're currently at the point where self-parking, lane-keeping, cruise control, auto braking etc. are at the limits of what can safely be done without causing driver complacency. The industry now has to make a quantum leap[1] to a system which allows the driver to kick back and start playing Pokemon - because typical drivers are not going to pay attention to the road and stand ready to intervene while a car drives itself. What we have now is a good proof-of-concept (and maybe a slightly better lane assist) - it still has a long way to go before mass acceptance. There are significant technical challenges and significant cultural/social challenges.

I'm sure it will come eventually, but its not going to be pulling in profits next year.

[1] (in the correct sense of the term - i.e. no intermediate states)
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kabeyun Avatar
61 months ago
Google is another company that has gone off the rails. They were so busy cow towing and boot licking to Hillary this past two years, they forgot they were in charge of leading multibillion dollar companies.
Yes. That's exactly what it was. So amazed more people don't realize that. Thank you for the insight. I'm off to break up a child p**nography ring in a DC pizzeria.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tatonka Avatar
61 months ago
Google is another company that has gone off the rails. They were so busy cow towing and boot licking to Hillary this past two years, they forgot they were in charge of leading multibillion dollar companies.
Gone off the rails where exactly? And what exactly has Clinton to do with it .. or rather what has Google done that was so strange?
This is just another hollow rant that says exactly nothing at all.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

REC ASA CODE2016 20160601 205816 2745

Elon Musk Reportedly Demanded to Become Apple CEO as Part of Potential Tesla Acquisition [Update: Musk Denies]

Friday July 30, 2021 9:04 am PDT by
Tesla CEO Elon Musk reportedly once demanded that he be made Apple CEO in a brief discussion of a potential acquisition with Apple's current CEO, Tim Cook. The claim comes in a new book titled "Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk and the Bet of the Century," as reviewed by The Los Angeles Times. According to the book, during a 2016 phone call between Musk and Cook that touched on the possibility of ...
General Apps Messages

Android iMessage Competitor Puts Pressure on Apple

Friday July 30, 2021 3:15 am PDT by
Google and the three major U.S. carriers, including Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, will all support a new communications protocol on Android smartphones starting in 2022, a move that puts pressure on Apple to adopt a new cross-platform messaging standard and may present a challenge to iMessage. Verizon recently announced that it is planning to adopt Messages by Google as its default messaging...
a15 chip

iPhone 13 and Redesigned MacBook Pro Chip Production Hit With Gas Contamination

Friday July 30, 2021 5:44 am PDT by
The most important TSMC factory that manufactures Apple's chips destined for next-generation iPhone and Mac models has been hit by a gas contamination, according to Nikkei Asia. The factory, known as "Fab 18," is TSMC's most advanced chipmaking facility. TSMC is Apple's sole chip supplier, making all of the processors used in every Apple device with a custom silicon chip. Industry...
Apple watch series 5 new case material made of titanium 091019

Titanium Apple Watch Series 6 Models Currently Widely Unavailable

Sunday August 1, 2021 6:21 am PDT by
Models of the Apple Watch Series 6 with titanium cases part of the "Apple Watch Edition" collection is currently widely unavailable for pick-up in several of Apple's retail stores in the United States and is unavailable entirely for delivery in major markets. Noted by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman in the latest edition of his "Power On" newsletter, titanium models of the Apple Watch Series 6,...
iPhone 13 Always On Feature

iPhone 13 to Bring Over a Major Feature From the Apple Watch

Wednesday July 28, 2021 2:21 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone 13 lineup will feature an always-on display akin to the Apple Watch Series 5 and Series 6, according to recent reports. In his weekly Power On newsletter, Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman, who often reveals accurate insights into Apple's plans, said that the iPhone 13 may feature an Apple Watch-inspired always-on mode. The Apple Watch Series 5 and Apple Watch...
apple rtp land

Apple Preparing to Occupy 200,000 Square Feet of Temporary Space Ahead of New $1 Billion North Carolina Campus

Thursday July 29, 2021 9:14 am PDT by
Back in April, Apple announced a $430 billion investment over the next five years to create more than 20,000 new jobs as the company continues to expand. One significant piece of that plan is a new engineering and research center in North Carolina where Apple will be investing over $1 billion and hiring at least 3,000 employees. Assemblage of seven properties in Research Triangle Park owned by ...
telegram

Bumper Telegram Update Enables Video Calls With Up to 1,000 Viewers

Saturday July 31, 2021 12:13 am PDT by
Telegram Messenger has received a major update to its video capabilities, including support for video calls with up to 1,000 viewers. Group video calls in Telegram allow up to 30 users to stream video from both their camera and their screen, and now a maximum of 1,000 people can tune into the broadcast. Telegram says it intends to continue increasing this limit "until all humans on Earth...
app store blue banner

Elon Musk: Apple's App Store Fees Are a 'De Facto Global Tax on the Internet'

Friday July 30, 2021 10:04 am PDT by
Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter today to criticize Apple's App Store fees in a tweet that sides with Epic in the ongoing Epic v. Apple dispute. "Epic is right," wrote Musk, before going on to call Apple's App Store fees a "de facto global tax on the Internet." Musk earlier this week made veiled comments about App Store fees, but today's statement is a much more direct criticism....
FaceID iMac REREREREMIX

Top Stories: Face ID on Future Macs, Elon Musk Criticizes Apple, and More

Saturday July 31, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
This week saw an interesting range of Apple news and rumors, including a blockbuster earnings report, rumors about next year's "iPhone 14" and Face ID coming to Macs, and more. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Other popular topics included Apple's crackdown on leaks, changes in the latest round of betas for iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS Monterey, and several stories...
duracell battery bitter coating

Apple Says Don't Buy AirTag Replacement Batteries With Bitter Coating

Wednesday July 28, 2021 11:08 am PDT by
Since AirTags were just released earlier this year and are expected to have a year-long battery life, it may be some time yet before AirTag users need a replacement battery, but when the time comes for a refresh, Apple is warning customers not to buy batteries with a bitter coating. AirTags use coin-shaped CR2032 batteries, which happen to be a size that's easy to swallow. Some battery...