It’s not happening here, it’s not happening there, it’s happening everywhere. Autonomous vehicles are already on the road; witness Tesla’s Model S and its Autopilot. This is just the beginning.
Car manufacturers are on their way to making the “auto” in “automobile” literal, in that the car will be able to drive itself, without any input from the person sitting behind the wheel, aka the-individual-previously-known-as-the-driver.
Vehicles have already become tech-laden pieces of machinery. Millennials are becoming accustomed to having the latest features on their cars and a lot of them are more interested in hooking up their smartphone and using voice commands than acceleration figures or razor sharp turn-in.
It’s a whole different ball game and past rules need no longer apply. Apple has long been rumored to be developing its own car. Google is way ahead, its autonomous vehicles accumulating a lot of miles and gaining lots of know-how in the process.
In spite of having a $495 billion market capitalization, more than triple the size of GM, Ford, and Fiat Chrysler combined, and having invested heavily in autonomous driving, the Mountain View-based giant does not wish to become a manufacturer but team up with existing ones.
Could this partner be General Motors? “We make cars, we know how to make cars,” GM’s product development boss Mark Reuss told Bloomberg. “They’ve got great technical capabilities. We are very interested in how those two might work together.”
This goes far beyond Android Auto integration in multimedia systems. GM is proud of its own Super Cruise autonomous driving system that will debut on Cadillac’s CT6 flagship. Teaming up with Google, though, would allow it to tap into an extremely valuable source, accelerate product development and reduce costs at the same time.
Since every auto manufacturer is hell-bent on getting this feature ready as soon as possible, getting first dibs on Google’s tech might give GM brands a head start in the race of the self-driving cars.
Detroit die-hards might not like Silicon Valley much but they have to get in bed with it. This is a brave new world, after all, isn’t it?
Story References: cnet