Google Wants To Build Its Own Self-Driving Car
Google is designing its own self-driving car and has plans to build a fleet of cars it dubs “robo taxis,” blogger Jessica Lessin reports. The news comes on the heels of Google Ventures investing $258 million into the personal mobile car service Uber, a company now valued at $3.5 billion, according to TechCrunch.
The company, which made its name with its search engine, has held talks with a number of manufacturers to build cars to Google’s specifications – a bit like the company’s early approach to Android.
But the talks failed to yield a deal, so Google is planning to build the vehicles itself instead – a bit like its more recent approach to laptops with Chromebooks.
Continental, a German automotive supplier, is reportedly establishing a partnership with Google and IBM for self-driving cars, according to a report in the Frankfurter Allgemeine on Thursday. Owing to the enormous complexity and difficulty of manufacturing and selling a car, Google would still prefer to partner with a major auto manufacturer, saysources.
Silicon Valley darling Uber, whose app lets users book taxis and car services in real time, has also raised $258 million in funding led by Google.
Uber will use the funding to “expand into new markets, accelerate customer and driver acquisition, and fight off protectionist, anti-competitive efforts,” CEO Travis Kalanick wrote in a blog post Friday confirming Google’s investment.