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Reports: Google to Make Its Own Self-Driving Car

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Aug. 26, 2013—According to multiple media outlets, Google has begun designing and developing a full-fledged self-driving car.

Originally reported by to journalist Amir Efrati, formerly of the Wall Street Journal, Google has begun talking with contract manufacturers to build new cars to Google’s specifications. For years, Google has worked on software to help major automakers build their own autonomous vehicles. But Efrati said the move came after Google’s talks with big car brands about incorporating its technology into their vehicles failed to yield a partnership.

The report claims that Google has plans to sell these cars to individuals, as well as a potential “robo-taxi” service that would pick up passengers on demand.

On Thursday, Germany newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung said Google was nearing a deal with Continental, one of the world’s largest auto-components suppliers, to create a self-driving car system. The report didn’t provide further detail about the system and the companies declined comment, according to Efrati.

Although Google has talked to contract manufacturers to build the car for them, one of Efrati’s sources said the company is still seeking to partner with well-known automakers.

The discussion on self-driving cars is a common topic these days. The LA Auto Show’s Connected Car Expo (CCE) is brining together key players on the topic for a panel called “Technology Takes the Wheel – Our Autonomous Driving Future.” The event will be held as part of the Los Angeles Auto Show Press Days on Nov 19–21 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Ron Medford, Google’s director of safety for the self-driving car and the former NHTSA deputy administrator, will be a member of the panel. The other panelists include Jeff Klei, vice president of Continental North America, and Sven Beiker, the executive director of the center for automotive research at Stanford (CARS).

More information on the event can be found at ConnectedCarExpo.com.
 

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