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Ford and Google’s Potential Autonomous Vehicle Could Be Clean-Sheet Design

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Autonomous Ford Fusion Hybrid

Autonomous Ford Fusion Hybrids will test in California next year

Ford is poised to kick off 2016 with some pretty significant moves. Not only will the automaker be revealing a new electrified vehicle (presumably the new 2017 Fusion Energi) at the Detroit Auto Show, but it is also being speculated that Ford will kick off the International CES by announcing a partnership with Google that will result in an autonomous vehicle.

According to Automotive News, those talks between Google and Ford are ongoing, and they could be finalized the week leading into 2016 CES. AutoPacific analyst Dave Sullivan told Auto News that the deal is doubly beneficial because it enables Google to build autonomous cars quicker than it would of its own accord.

Further, he speculates that the vehicle will be built to Google’s specifications, but that it will benefit from Ford’s understanding of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. It’s also stated that this vehicle would be a clean sheet design.

What’s more, it’s assumed that Ford’s involvement would mean that these autonomous cars would bear a stronger resemblance to the Blue Oval’s vehicles than it would the “bubble cars” that Google has been experimenting with.

All speculation should be settled in one week during Ford’s Press Day press conference at CES. Stay tuned.

News Source: Automotive News (subscription required)