Google, one of a handful of tech companies at the forefront of the self-driving car revolution, will not make its own autonomous vehicle, according to a new report from a reliable source.
According to information received by The Information, Google has refocused its efforts concerning the car business. Rather than building a car that can drive itself around town — Google has been testing such vehicles for a while now — Google will partner with traditional automakers on more conventional cars. The scope of this partnerships would be to launch an autonomous ride-sharing service by the end of next year.
Google and Fiat Chrysler already announced a car partnership earlier this year, without revealing many details about their efforts. The two companies announced that they will develop self-driving minivans together, but the partnership would not be exclusive.
Fiat Chrysler is making a new prototype for Google that is based on the Pacifica minivan, the reports notes. If testing is successful, the car could become a commercial product that might end up competing directly against Uber. The world’s most popular ride-sharing service is also testing self-driving cars of its own, as Uber is famously looking to ditch drivers and make rides even more affordable.
While Google co-founder Sergey Brin is in favor of Google making a car from end to end, it appears that other execs including CEO Larry Page and CFO Ruth Porat are not on the same page. Apparently, Page and Porat believe that a car without a steering wheel might be impractical, so they decided to pivot. Nothing is official at this time, but Google is expected to reveal more details about its car efforts on Tuesday.