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They may have to work together further down the road, though

Google and Detroit automakers just can't see eye-to-eye on the topic of autonomous vehicles, according to a recent report from Reuters
 
Google began meeting with Detroit automakers in 2012 with the intention of teaming up for autonomous vehicles. As it turns out, Google wanted to jump quickly and create a fully autonomous car while automakers felt a gradual rollout of autonomous features on existing cars would be a better idea.
 
There are arguments for both sides. On one hand, Google wants to release a revolutionary new product that utilizes its technologies and transforms the way people get around.
 
On the other hand, Detroit automakers fear that Google could run away with their business. Auto companies aren't quite sure if they should treat Google as a friend or foe. Interestingly, a study by KPMG last year found that American consumers would trust brands like Google and Apple for self-driving cars more than they would automakers.
 
Just last month, General Motor's Product Development chief Mark Reuss called Google's autonomous car a "threat." 
 
"Anybody can do anything with enough time and money," said Reuss. "If they set their mind to it, I have no doubt [that they will be] a very serious competitive threat.  [The car is] kind of cool [and looks sort of like a VW Beetle].
 
"[Automation is] going to be a creep, it’s not going to be a mind-bending thing.  I don’t think you’re going to see an autonomous vehicle take over the city anytime soon."


Google's autonomous car

Aside from that, automakers feel it's better to gradually roll out new features rather than deliver an entirely autonomous vehicle. According to the automakers, customers will more likely feel comfortable with a slower introduction to this new technology rather than all in one swoop. 
 
Right now, Google's prototype is a tiny pod-shaped car, which has a flexible windshield and a spinning cone on top that helps navigation. Only two people can fit, and there's a top speed of 25 miles per hour. 
 
Detroit automakers also feel that Google's autonomous cars are limited by Google Maps, which directs the cars. If there's an area not covered by the Maps, or if Maps were to malfunction in some way, it could pose a problem for the customer.
 
Even more troubling to automakers is the liability for these vehicles. Google's current autonomous car doesn't have driver-operated brakes, a steering wheel or an accelerator pedal. Without an actual human driver, the automakers fear they would be at fault for any auto accidents. 
 
Google, however counters, saying that it would take the blame for any auto accidents involving its technology, and that finding what caused the accident would be easier with Google technology at hand. 
 
It looks as though Google and Detroit automakers will go their separate ways on the topic for now, but some feel they will inevitably have to meet again further down the road when autonomous vehicle technology grows beyond its infancy. 

Source: Reuters



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Ugh
By Reclaimer77 on 6/30/2014 2:40:35 PM , Rating: 1
Google people here think I'm your biggest fan, but let me tell you, it would be a cold day in hell before I was caught dead in your "car".

Look Google, you are NOT a car company. You don't make cars. And why would you even want to?

Just licence your self-driving technology so it can be put in vehicles that people actually WANT to be seen in.

I seriously can't believe Google wants to get bogged down in car production. That can quickly become a quagmire as you're going up against extremely entrenched and powerful competitors.

I have to say, I kind of side with the OEM's here. This is extremely virgin territory and just rushing in would be crazy. There's a LOT to consider here, and if not done right, one or two fatal incidents early on could set the entire self-driving effort back decades.




RE: Ugh
By retrospooty on 6/30/2014 3:20:20 PM , Rating: 1
I have to agree... Google is starting to show signs of the "I am huge now, so you need to do it MY WAY" product development mentality rather than the "make products that people want" mentality that got them there... Hopefully it doesn't get worse.


RE: Ugh
By Monkey's Uncle on 6/30/2014 4:03:11 PM , Rating: 2
Ditto.

I wouldn't be caught dead in one of these 4-wheeled eggs.

I wonder if Apple will come along and try to make make an iEgg now...


RE: Ugh
By Reclaimer77 on 6/30/2014 4:53:10 PM , Rating: 2
No, Google has a vision for self driving tech and I respect that. Hell nobody else has bothered to take it this far, so they should reap the rewards.

I don't agree with their strategy, but that doesn't mean I think they're being like Microsoft and their "have it OUR way" mentality about things.

I think people, at least here on DT, have expressed that they want self-driving cars. I just don't think they want that egg car lol. I know I don't.


RE: Ugh
By Grimer21 on 6/30/2014 5:07:38 PM , Rating: 2
I'll take one. Even if it was made to look like a giant purple cat with a digital rainbow shooting out of its ass and huge speakers blasting a purring sound I would still take one. I'll buy one for my 'daily driver' (daily rider, maybe?) and still have my personal car for excitement and thrills.

But, I don't want one unless 99.9% of the populace also have one. What good is one autonomous car if nobody else is also driving one.


RE: Ugh
By SlyNine on 6/30/2014 6:03:46 PM , Rating: 2
And when the tech does something that doesn't make sense, and all you can do is watch?

We need a lot more testing, by third parties in conditions that are not scouted and mostly predetermined before anyone should buy in to this.


RE: Ugh
By Monkey's Uncle on 6/30/2014 6:09:18 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
But, I don't want one unless 99.9% of the populace also have one. What good is one autonomous car if nobody else is also driving one.


*looks in rearview mirror* "Oh crap! Here comes Monkey's Uncle in that frigging Hummer!"


RE: Ugh
By retrospooty on 6/30/2014 6:26:02 PM , Rating: 2
I dunno... I look at how they are removing great apps and integrating it into the half assed Google+ app, and how you cant get gtalk PC app anymore and Maps 8 that is STILL less functional than Maps 6 and see the signs... It's not full out MS 2010-2014, but it isn't the old Google either. Hopefully they stay on the right path.


RE: Ugh
By syslog2000 on 6/30/2014 6:35:52 PM , Rating: 2
There are definitely parts of Google that are a monopoly and are increasingly behaving like one. Try dealing with their Adwords people. They are essentially the gateway to the internet for people who sell good online, and they abuse their position.

I am leery of putting more and more aspects of my life in a single vendor's hands, even if that vendor is Google.


RE: Ugh
By KCjoker on 6/30/2014 6:44:35 PM , Rating: 2
STARTING? you think Google is just NOW starting to show signs of I am huge now, so you need to do it MY WAY"?? Where have you been for years?


RE: Ugh
By M'n'M on 6/30/2014 4:09:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Just licence your self-driving technology so it can be put in vehicles that people actually WANT to be seen in.

I have to believe that's really their eventual goal. Google gets to dominate the market w/their tech, which they license at a profit. The Google-mobile is really just another electric urban car. It's a big leap from a glorified golf cart to real cars.

What I can see Google doing is pushing the market, and public opinion, by offering the Google-bug first in those large gated FL communities, some of which are over 55. It's this market where the limitations of the G-bug are minimized and it's benefits maximized.


RE: Ugh
By nafhan on 7/1/2014 11:20:42 AM , Rating: 2
I don't get the Google wants to be bogged down in car production. That car seems more like a "Nexus".
quote:
Detroit automakers fear that Google could run away with their business.
That's really all you need to know about the situation. When you are interacting with an autonomous vehicle you won't be interacting with a Ford or a Chevy or a Toyota, you will be interacting with the autonomous piece. If that's provided by Google, you'll be interacting Google regardless of who provides the rest of the car. The car-makers are worried about becoming a faceless OEM and Google has already said they won't allow differentiation with the auto-equivalent of TouchWiz.
quote:
There's a LOT to consider here, and if not done right, one or two fatal incidents early on could set the entire self-driving effort back decades.
Don't take this to mean I'm talking about you, but this kind of thinking makes me wish people understood statistics better. There WILL be fatalities caused by self driving vehicles - early on and later on. However, almost certainly a helluva' lot loss fatalities per vehicle than are caused on a regular basis by your typical human driver. People are terrible drivers! But, we're used to that, so no problem emotionally, and we've got a lot of legal precedent to handle bad human drivers.


"If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion." -- Scientology founder L. Ron. Hubbard














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