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Print 29 comment(s) - last by Dan Banana.. on Jul 15 at 12:37 AM

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



Comments     Threshold


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.


This is what G needs to do.
By peterrushkin on 6/30/2014 3:38:41 PM , Rating: 5
Go find a town somewhere. Throw money at that town, that is no more cars, cars are done, period.

Put in recharging stations for places around that town so these auto cars when parked can charge up.

Make sure there are various ways to hail a car. Either by phone, tablet, desktop or old school call an operator. That way its accessible by everyone.

Now see how the public in that town deal with having a cab at their disposal day or night AND without needing to pay the upkeep costs. They only pay for when they travel.

I can tell you now. Old people, teens, even single moms would think this is a boon. Gone are the days of needing 2 cars. Imagine this, no insurance, no thinking about gas costs, no maintenance. It's all gone. You just pay for what you use. Hell, no taxi/cab fares!

It would be a matter of weeks before everyone adjusted then got used to it!

In 10 years time, everyone would say... driving? who drives lol...




RE: This is what G needs to do.
By Monkey's Uncle on 6/30/14, Rating: -1
RE: This is what G needs to do.
By SlyNine on 6/30/2014 6:07:10 PM , Rating: 2
Funny how it didn't even realize you were a threat. A person would have realized that.


RE: This is what G needs to do.
By peterrushkin on 6/30/2014 7:17:16 PM , Rating: 2
The jokes on Monkeys Uncle. He would have been driving in an auto-car zone.

Him coming into the zone would have broken federal law. A swat team would have broken out of no-where and then torn him a new butt-hole to see what he had to eat last week.

He's dreaming if he thinks a hummer would be on the same road as one of these!

Dreaming I tell you!


RE: This is what G needs to do.
By Spuke on 7/2/2014 12:26:56 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
He's dreaming if he thinks a hummer would be on the same road as one of these!
You're definitely going to have a mix of self-driving and human driving cars on the roads for a LOOOOONG time. Do you think all the illegal alien drivers are going to magically afford a new car all of a sudden?


RE: This is what G needs to do.
By euclidean on 7/1/2014 9:12:35 AM , Rating: 2
I'll be in line pre-ordering my Self-Driving car the day they are available.


RE: This is what G needs to do.
By Spuke on 7/2/2014 12:27:57 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'll be in line pre-ordering my Self-Driving car the day they are available
The new Mercedes S class is the closest thing to a self-driving car you can buy today. Take one out for a drive and see what you think.


too much
By Murloc on 6/30/2014 4:01:08 PM , Rating: 2
The google pod concept is interesting and is a thing for the future, but right now it can't work. The transition requires sharing the road with human drivers in towns not planned for those cars. So pods are simply too dangerous.

I understand why google wants to do that: the LIDAR and other equipment they're putting on the car is very pricey and the google car is dependent on the cloud. Replacing all traffic in a city with those cars would allow them to recoup the unit cost.

Instead of convincing automakers, they should run a pilot project in a town somewhere to try it out first. In the US, there are many flat areas. Just build a huge car park outside the town, and allow only google cars to use the town network. Except professional vehicles and stuff ofc. Collect data and convince others.

In the meanwhile, they should give in to the automakers and sell personal semi-autonomous cars for now. They don't want private transport to be replaced by a public network because they would sell less and be dependent on google. They would disappear.
I don't think customers are ready either so a mixed approach should be used first.

I think they should automate motorway traffic first: the lanes are clearly and consistently marked, they can be read by cameras, they're well built, driver behaviour is simple, customers would trust it, and people spend lots of time they don't enjoy on the motorways. You may not even need a LIDAR.




RE: too much
By Grimer21 on 6/30/2014 5:25:20 PM , Rating: 2
What we need is a 'future' town. All of the roads, driveways, parking lots, and sidewalks would be solar roadways generating power for the entire town. There would be no 'power plant' as we know them today. All cars would be 100% autonomous; no steering wheel, no driver-assistance whatsoever. There would be no stoplights, no stop signs, no road signs at all. The roads would be roughly half the width of roads today as well. No need to have huge lanes or shoulders.

A major proof-of-concept of what we can achieve with today's technology not being hindered by yesterday's technology. You know what? Forget Mars for a minute, we need volunteers to live in Future Town as test subjects. I'll be first!


RE: too much
By M'n'M on 6/30/2014 8:51:10 PM , Rating: 2
Will UPS be allowed to deliver in this town of yours ? How about plumbers driving trucks ? Or anyone driving trucks, perhaps to build new houses ? As for solar roadways ... c'mon you fell for that ?


RE: too much
By Nutzo on 7/1/2014 1:17:49 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, you could build it today, but nobody would be able to afford to live there.
What if you works outside of town?
How would you go visit relatives/friends who didn't live in the town? How would they come to visit you?

I'm sure the local stores would love having a captive population who couldn't drive somewhere else to get a lower price.


RE: too much
By peterrushkin on 6/30/2014 5:58:05 PM , Rating: 2
I said exactly this heh :)


Google, Meet Tesla Motors
By DaveLessnau on 6/30/2014 2:42:29 PM , Rating: 5
Google was talking to the wrong people. If they want to break the paradigm, they need to be talking to Tesla Motors instead of Detroit.




RE: Google, Meet Tesla Motors
By Spuke on 7/2/2014 12:29:39 PM , Rating: 2
No they need to be talking to Detroit. Tesla is a small manufacturer that makes expensive cars. The tech needs to go to the people that can make this stuff cheap by selling millions of them.


By Mike Acker on 7/1/2014 8:17:00 AM , Rating: 2
we need self-regulating cars, not self-driving ones. much easier to get rolling with -- start on the free-ways with speed control, tail-gaiting prevention, stop sign and stop light controls, lane drift control, and such.




By Dan Banana on 7/15/2014 12:37:07 AM , Rating: 2
It seems to be composed mainly of juvenile "know-it-alls" trying to prove they are the smartest ones here and that everyone else is stupid.




By unimatrix725 on 7/5/2014 5:47:30 PM , Rating: 1
If they don't Nissan might to augment failing EV line. Any other foreign manufacturer may as well. I would rather see an American company provide the "hardware" and let Google do the software. That would also solve the legal worries, or a clause for all manual controls being in vehicle. Its powered by Android, could imagine driving touchscreen style or Playstation style. Who knows Google might just buy GM or another maker (Saab? Lol)... That down the road meeting is gonna be a bitch!




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