Kyle Johnson
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Reports: Ford and Google Set to Announce Autonomous Vehicle Partnership

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Ford Fusion Hybrid Autonomous Research Vehicle at Mcity

Two Ford Fusion Hybrid Autonomous Research Vehicle prototypes testing at Mcity

It was revealed earlier this month that Ford is set to have its show-stopping GT supercar featured as the Official Vehicle of the 2016 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and that the automaker will also be kicking off the show on January 5th with a press conference. According to a number of sources, it was revealed on Monday that the announcement made at that particular presser could be earth-shattering.

According to Yahoo! Autos, Ford is set to announce an unprecedented joint venture with Google that will result in the creation of autonomous vehicles. Ford recently began testing its autonomous Fusion Hybrid sedans at Mcity, and it was announced earlier in December that the automaker will begin road testing its self-driving cars on California roads next year.

Google, meanwhile, has already logged 1.3 million autonomous miles among 53 prototype vehicles being tested in California and Texas. It’s being reported that the deal will be non-exclusive, giving Google the go-ahead to license its technology to and work with other automakers in their respective quests to put forth fully autonomous vehicles by as soon as 2020. It’s also said that the nature of the partnership would shield Ford from liability in the event of accidents.

Google declined comment, but Ford spokesman Alan Hall told Yahoo! Autos that the automaker does not comment on speculation and that all discussions are being kept private. It’s worth pointing out that former Ford CEO Alan Mulally joined Google’s board of directors last year, and that the man in charge of Google’s self-driving car development project, John Krafcik, spent 14 years with Ford.

In May, current Ford CEO Mark Fields made it clear that Ford is no longer simply an automaker, but rather a “mobility company” that aims to be among the leaders in autonomous vehicle tech. This prospective partnership would be as clear an indication of this point as any.

News Source: Yahoo! Autos

  • Kyle JohnsonEditor

    Kyle S. Johnson lives in Cincinnati, a city known by many as "the Cincinnati of Southwest Ohio." He enjoys professional wrestling, Halloween, and also other things. He has been writing for a while, and he plans to continue to write well into the future. See more articles by Kyle.