Update: Google won’t be making a self-driving car, but Waymo will. The company’s autonomous driving division has spun out into an independent company under Alphabet. Find the rest of the details here.
Google has reportedly decided to put its plans for its own self-driving cars on the back burner for the time being. Instead, the company will likely pursue partnerships with third-party auto-makers.
Google’s autonomous driving unit, internally known as Chauffeur, has purportedly shifted its efforts towards collaborating with select car manufacturers to develop vehicles with self-driving capabilities, which will also feature the standard wheel and pedal controls, The Information reports.
The search engine giant is already working with Fiat Chrystler following a partnership announced earlier in May.
Google initially considered doing away with the steering wheel and pedal controls, but eventually found the approach to be too “impractical,” abandoning such plans despite clocking over two million autonomous miles on public roads.
While the Big G might be slowing down with its self-driving ambitions, The Information speculates the company still has its sights set on introducing an autonomous taxi service by the end of 2017.
Google has been repeatedly rumored to contemplate making a run in the on-demand car market – a move which could see the company square up against Uber and other like-minded competitors.
Earlier this year, Uber became the second company to successfully run trials with its own self-driving cabs, after fellow ridesharing service Nutonomy conducted similar tests in Singapore shortly before that.
Google is hosting a media event centered around autonomous driving in San Francisco next Tuesday, so you can expect more details soon.
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