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Google begins talks with automakers to bring self-driving cars to market eventually

Chris Urmson, director of self-driving cars at Google, said at the Automotive News World Congress in Detroit that the company has started talks with most of the world’s top automakers and assembled a team of global suppliers to speed its push to bring self-driving cars to market.

The suppliers named by Google included Bosch, which supplies power electronics and long-range radar to Google; ZF Lenksysteme, which supplies a new steering gear; LG Electronics, which supplies the batteries; plus Continental and Roush.

Urmson confirmed that Roush, the Michigan-based engineering and specialty manufacturing company, built the podlike two-seater that Google plans to start testing on public roads this year. Crain’s Detroit Business, an affiliate of Automotive News, reported that relationship last May.

Google didn’t ask a large automaker to build this car, Urmson said during a discussion with Automotive News Publisher and Editor Jason Stein, but intends to do so in the future when it seeks to commercialize its technology.



Call me skeptical, but the sorts of estimates that get floated in the media for the maturity of self-driving technology are wildly optimistic and will continue to be "just a few years away" for an incredibly long time.

Running vehicles on closed courses or terrain that has been extensively mapped out beforehand are completely trivial problems compared to the unpredictability of everyday driving, not to mention the limitations that these vehicles have when it comes to operation in rain/snow. xkcd captured this sort of dilemma very well.

Add the complications of coming up with functional safety standards, a regulatory framework, standardization, and actually getting auto manufacturers to implement it and it adds up to a huge number of years.

P.S. the linked article is behind a registration wall.

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