- Apr 30, 2012
Google Exec: Self-Driving Cars Could Reach Consumers Within A Decade
Computer giant now talking to car makers about potential partnerships
"The most important thing computers can do in the next 10 years is drive a car," Google project manager Anthony Levandowski said last week at the SAE World Congress in Detroit, according to The Detroit News.
Google is on the path to proving that self-driving cars are safer than those operated by people, Levandowski said, and the company is approaching car makers to see if they would want to partner and build self-driving cars.
"We're talking to basically every car company to see what their level of excitement is and how do we work with them," he said.
A Google spokesman said Monday, "We're talking with lots of auto companies about a variety of topics, but we haven't decided how we may make our technology available to consumers. As Anthony said at the SAE conference in Detroit, 'all options are open.'"
Levandowski added that he thinks self-driving cars will be on the road and available to consumers in the coming years – much sooner than many experts have predicted. Google has already logged 250,000 miles in testing of 10 vehicles. It now intends to double its fleet and put 1 million miles of testing down before offering the system to the public.
However, there are still many concerns, including legal liability of who's responsible for an accident when no one is driving. Google hopes to iron out those concerns so drivers can take the back seat and let their computers do all of the work.