A couple of days ago we talked about GM showing potential interest in working with Google on developing technology for the self-driving car. Google has been working on the self-driving car project all their lonesome for years now, but there was also mention that they were going to be talking about the self-driving car project at this year's Detroit Auto Show happening this week, and that they would be discussing their plans for the future of the project which would include them reaching out to automakers for partnerships in bringing the self-driving car to market sooner.
Today Google has officially and openly mentioned that they're interested in working with automakers and have set a goal to make the self-driving car a market reality by the year 2020. We already knew that they would most likely be talking to GM (General Motors) as this was discussed by GM themselves two days ago. The head of the self-driving car project, Chris Urmson has also stated that they've begun talks with additional automakers Ford, Toyota, Daimler and Volkswagen for potential partnerships. Whether or not Google could end up working with all of these companies is uncertain, and if they do end up with multiple partnerships it stands to reason that we could end up with multiple offerings for the self-driving car.
Google and the automakers they've spoken with won't be the only ones working on self-driving vehicles, but Google's vision is certainly getting the most attention it would seem. Google also apparently had a reason for talking with the automakers they mentioned today, as Urmson stated that "We'd be remiss not to talk to ... the biggest auto manufacturers. They've got a lot to offer." Google may have plans to end up building their own autonomous vehicle, but in the end they may find that it could be a better solution to handle the systems portion of such a venture, while the automakers actually build the vehicles. Chris Urmson also mentioned that the prototypes that Google has currently come up with are not necessarily the end result or final design of what the self-driving cars they have a part in will look like when they're production ready and available to the consumers, so those of you out there that absolutely hate the look of the prototype now, you may end up with something more eye pleasing down the road.