Tech giant Google Inc. is hunting for partners in the auto industry in a bid to bring its ambitious self-driving car project to the market in the next five years.
The revelations were made on Friday by the head of Google’s autonomous-vehicle project.
During an interview, project’s director Chris Urmson said, “We don’t particularly want to become a car maker. We are talking [with] and looking for partners.”
Urmson said that his team is currently working with the automotive suppliers for building a fleet of more-advanced Google cars with “beta one” prototype. According to the sources, the software giant has planned to begin the on-road testing of the cars early next year.
But Urmson said the major challenge coming in way of Google’s efforts involve the software and not hardware. However, the company is pretty confident about the laser radar technology or LIDAR that can bring accurate images of the surroundings of car at a reasonable cost.
Google has set high hopes at its ambitious project to build self-driving cars. The project is at the center of the company’s secretive skunk works lab, called Google X, which is working on many projects including giant TV screens, balloon-powered Internet service, contact lenses that measure blood-glucose levels, the Web-connected eyewear Google Glass and many more.
While addressing a press conference, Google co-founder Sergey Brin had said that he has high hopes on the self-driving car that it will “transform transportation around the world, and reduce the need for individual car ownership, the need for parking, road congestion and so forth.”
Urmson will be addressing a big auto industry convention meeting, called the Automotive News World Congress, scheduled in Detroit in January next year. The event is expected to witness a gathering of many potential partners from the established auto industry.
The executives and bigwigs of the Auto industry are closely monitoring Google’s work on self-driving vehicle systems.