Is Google Giving Up On Self-Driven Cars’ Dream?

With an ample advancement in Artificial intelligence, it is not surprising that the automobile giants are now stepping into the world of auto-driven cars: robotic cars which would be capable of sensing their environment and navigating on their own.

The dream is to build cars that would need no manual input and would need just a push of a button to take the person to the spin palace casino. Of all the other companies involved in the project, Google was one of the first ones to have stepped into this field in 2009.

The history
Google came up with software, Google Chauffer, that allows cars to self-drive on the roads without the use of steering wheel and pedals. To date, the software and its updates have been tested on over its 60 cars which commutatively have covered a distance of 2 million miles and more on the roads in the UK. However, later this year, Google announced that it would be no longer working on creating its robotic cars. The earlier plan was to get over 100 autonomous minivans on the road by the end of 2016 in collaboration with Fiat-Chrysler.

As part of the partnership, John Krafcik said “FCA has a nimble and experienced engineering team and the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan is well-suited for Google’s self-driving technology. The opportunity to work closely with FCA engineers will accelerate our efforts to develop a fully self-driving car that will make our roads safer and bring everyday destinations within reach for those who cannot drive.”

CEO of Fiat Chrysler, Sergio Marchionne, said “the experience both companies gain will be fundamental to delivering automotive technology solutions that ultimately have far-reaching consumer benefits.”

What now?
Google plans on assisting other automobile companies in coming up with robotic cars of their own, a project almost every automobile giant was already working on. It will help them come up with auto-driven car designs that would still hold on to the conventional steering wheel and pedals design.

However, as per the reports, Google has not disregarded all its years of research and testing completely. It plans on launching autonomous taxis on the road by 2017. These ambitious plans will bring Google in competition with Uber who is already working on developing self-driving cars too. The taxis would be using the conventional car designs, something Google initially planned on letting go of in its autonomous car project.

The future belongs to robotic cars and with many big names like Uber, Ford, General Motors already working on it using their software it doesn’t seem afar when we would see robotic self-driven cars on the roads all over the world. Google, being the pioneer in this project, might have taken a step back but it would continue to provide its assistance to other automobile companies to help them get the cars on the road.

The move sees Google’s self driving cars move to a full-blown subsidiary of umbrella group Alphabet, named Waymo. John Krafcik heads up the division, saying “self-driving technology is awesome in all these categories. We are a self-driving technology company. We’ve been really clear that we’re not a car company, although there’s been some confusion on that point. We’re not in the business of making better cars. We’re in the business of making better drivers.”

“We can imagine this technology in ridesharing, in transportation, trucking, logistics even personal use vehicles and licensing with automakers, public transport and solving the last mile” he said.

About Author