Google was planning to open the first door to a futuristic world. However, its ambitious plans might be put in jeopardy for the price of a more practical use. While the tech giant is forced to put the project for the self-driving car on hold, Alphabet is refocusing on partnerships.
Google’s future fleet of futuristic cars needs external help at this point. The company has just shaken hands with Fiat Chrysler to hurry up production and enter the market by the end of 2017. However, some sacrifices have to be made to respect this tight deadline. Google will keep the self-driving car concept, but it will not replace the traditional cockpit. A development of a new cockpit plan can cost Google too much time for the company to finish its mobile production any time soon. The 2017 fleet is designed to serve the public as a robo-taxi company.
Google’s first car prototype met the public in 2014, at which time the company was proud to deliver a vehicle they built from scratch. The concept had a fresh an innovative idea of getting rid of brake pedals, steering wheel or accelerator. This way, drivers can enjoy their traveling experience without any exposure to traffic and its need for split second decisions. Google believed that this could be possible thanks to multiple car sensors and software that acts as a digital driver.
However, financial and practical matters are urging the Alphabet CEO, Larry Page, to leave its ambitious plans behind for the time being. The company needs to use its latest mobile technology as soon as possible. This pressure acted as the main reason why the first Google fleet will still have the steering wheel on board.
Furthermore, while the initial plan was to provide their technology to traditional car producers, they seem to have changed lately. With the new addition of GPS service, Waze, Google might enter the market of on-demand car space.
Meanwhile, the competition is gaining ground in the race for the first autonomous vehicles. Uber has taken Pittsburgh by storm this autumn with their trials for its own self-driving car that will function as a taxi. They were the first company that invited Uber fans to test the capacity of such an innovative vehicle instead of engineers.
And there’s another player in the race, namely the NuTonomy Company that started in 2013. Their autonomous vehicles have already been tested in Singapore and Boston. The startup plans to release its fleet by 2019.
Image source: 1