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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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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.


"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov














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