No Partnership Between Google and Ford Announced at CES

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Fusion Hybrid Research Vehicle at Mcity

Last week, there was a prevailing rumor that during the 2016 CES show in Las Vegas¬†Ford’s CEO Mark Fields would announce a joint venture between his company and Google to develop autonomous vehicles. Well, that press conference has come and gone, and there was no announcement of the sort.

Mr. Fields did discuss his autonomous vehicle strategy for Ford. They follow the SAE levels of autonomy, and are working towards Level 4. Level 4 is fully autonomous in known areas. To help that cause, Ford is deploying the largest fleet of autonomous cars for research and to collect data. These vehicles will be all over various states, and also at the dedicated autonomous vehicle environment at the University of Michigan.

Mr. Fields even talked about his company working with other companies, such as several univerisites and Velodyne. However, no mention of Google at all.

Ford has spent a lot of time and money in developing their own autonomous vehicle program. It seems that the only person who would benefit from a partnership with Google would be Google, since they don’t have automotive production capability. Google would be better off working with an automaker who isn’t so far along in the process.

What do you think? Let us know in the forums!

Chad Kirchner is a regular contributor to Corvette Forum and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other auto sites.

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