Ford and Google are discussing a plan to have the automaker build the tech giant’s next-generation self-driving cars, according to a report by Automotive News. Insiders claim that the two companies have reached a long-term deal and that an official announcement could be made at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January.
Google officials have confirmed that they are talking to automakers, but stopped short of mentioning which ones. Meanwhile, a Ford spokesman wouldn’t confirm nor deny a possible deal.
What’s interesting here is that two former Ford executives are now working for Google, namely Alan Mullaly (board of directors) and John Krafcik (CEO of the Self-Driving Car Project). The latter spent 14 years at Ford including a stint as chief engineer during the development of the Ford Expedition.
It appears production of Google’s next-generation self-driving cars would be a joint venture legally separate from Ford, thus protecting the Blue Oval from potential liability while allowing Google to negotiate a similar deal with other automakers.
Hopefully we’ll get further details at CES. Stay tuned.