Google has begun talks with major automakers in order to accelerate the goal of bringing self-driving cars to market by 2020. Chris Urmson, the director of Google's self-driving car project, told Reuters that the company has spoken with General Motors, Ford, Toyota, Daimler, and Volkswagen.
"For us to jump in and say that we can do this better, that's arrogant."
The company's self-driving prototypes have been built by Roush so far, but Urmson said that Google doesn't expect those to be a yardstick for what production models might be like. "For us to jump in and say that we can do this better, that's arrogant," he told Reuters. He also said that Google is still split on whether it will develop its own line of self-driving cars or if it will simply provide services and software to the car manufacturers that want to build their own.
As Google gets closer to introducing more test models to the streets of California — the company won 25 permits to do so back in September, while Daimler and Volkswagen were awarded the other four — other companies outside the partnership are trying to keep pace. Nissan is working with NASA to test autonomous cars on the road by the end of this year, while Elon Musk reiterated yesterday that he believes it will be at least another seven or eight years before self-driving cars are available to consumers.