Google Inc. wants self driving cars on the road sooner rather than later.

It knows its autonomous vehicles work – engineers have already put its fleet of self-driving vehicles through 250,000 miles of testing. And they're planning to put another 750,000 testing miles on their expanding fleet.

Now, executives are approaching car makers about building the self-driving vehicles, according to The Detroit News.

"From giving the technology away to licensing it to working with Tier 1s, Tier 2s, working with the OEMs, building a car with them, everything is open and we're trying to figure out which paths make the most sense," said Google project manager Anthony Levandowski last week at the Society of Automotive Engineers World Congress in Detroit. "We're talking to basically every car company to see what their level of excitement is and how do we work with them."

A Google spokesperson later added, "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 says Google is racing forward to get self-driving vehicles on the road as soon as possible. It has begun talking to insurance companies to figure out how much it might cost to insure a self-driving car, according to CNET. One of the sticky issues: If a self-driving vehicle causes an accident, is the driver responsible or the company that made the vehicle?

Google officials say they expect to mathematically prove that computer-driven vehicles are safer than those operated by humans, thus insurance prices should be lower. No word yet if that logic will fly, but insurance companies do love math, algorithms and actuary tables...


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  • 63 Comments
      Myself
      • 2 Years Ago
      Presumably so they could shovel ads right in your face while you're in the car....
      4 String
      • 2 Years Ago
      as long as there is a disengage feature, so that after a nap during a long road trip from socal to norcal, i can be a happy camper with mah wheel and have some fun
      maverick_02
      • 2 Years Ago
      No thank you Google!!!!!!!!!!!!The CEO of Google may want to want us to stop diving or own cars. Call me old fashioned but I like driving. If I wanted to ride I would Getty on a bus!
      Steve
      • 2 Years Ago
      Do I want a self driving car of my own? No. Do I want to hail a self-driving car from my home computer or cellphone to pick me up and take me to work or to the supermarket? Sure do!
        Steve
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Steve
        oh...and do I want tens of thousands of these things on the road and available to all so that we can stop turning our valuable land into inefficient parking lots? Absolutely.
      Car Guy
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm sure auto companies are not rushing out to support this. Why would they? When the Google controls screw up and crash into something GM, Ford, Toyota, ect will be the ones to get sued just like if any other supplier has faulty equipment on their car.
      FIDTRO
      • 2 Years Ago
      Jeremy Clarkson was right. The driving enthusiast really is now an endangered species.
      earthwateruser
      • 2 Years Ago
      No flying cars. No jet packs. I'll settle for a self driving car. Actually, make mine a self driving custom van! Chicka chicka bow bow.
      Basil Exposition
      • 2 Years Ago
      Why is this company pushing this so hard?
      Chicago
      • 2 Years Ago
      Shut up, you do not enjoy driving 100% of the time like everytime you get behind the wheel of your probably not that nice car you just bask in the glory of pounding the pavement. Tell me autonomous cars are a terrible idea the next time you go out for a drink, are stuck in a traffic jam, on the 9th hour of a 12 hour drive which of course these are infrequent but just as infrequent as you getting in the car and enjoying driving for the sake of driving.
      Mike
      • 2 Years Ago
      Perfect for drunk drivers that had a few too many!
        Chris
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Mike
        It sounds like a good idea, but I suspect that it wouldn't be that way. As it is, I have heard of people getting DWIs while trying to sleep it off in their cars while the key just happens to be in the ignition. Now, if the car is completely autonomous, and there is no way the driver can control it on his own, then I am more inclined to agree.
      Hazdaz
      • 2 Years Ago
      Oh boy... can't wait till Google gets their mitts on the electronics of cars and then starts displaying ads and starts culling even more personal data on users. :rolleyes:
      CA
      • 2 Years Ago
      After reading the comments, it appears a lot of people are paranoid and/or self-centered. Ever been to the Goolge campus? Count the number of GTRs, M3s, Evos, and STis (engineer's wet dreams). Count the number of Teslas and Priuses (environmentally-friendly engineer's wet dreams). Count the number of Porsches, Astons, R8s, Lambos, and Ferraris (rich engineer's wet dreams). Believe me, Google engineers love their cars, and they love to drive. 1) This is a system that can be installed into any car. It doesn't require a "hive mind" aka Skynet. 2) This is a system that can be turned on or off. 3) How many times have you been too impaired to drive (drunk, sleepy)? Wouldn't this be useful? 4) Your friend/spouse/kids need to be dropped off somewhere when it's not convenient for you. Wouldn't this be useful? 5) See above, perhaps this means you need to buy fewer cars. More money in your pocket! Less cars on the road! Less emmissions! Wouldn't that be neat? 6) For the many millions of people in the world who have disability and therefore limited mobility/freedom, wouldn't this be useful? Etc... Seriously guys, Google is a technology company. Shouldn't we WANT our technology companies to be trying wacky science-fiction things? Why wouldn't we WANT technology companies to be taking risks and pushing boundaries? And all of this in America, for crying out loud!
        UAVGeek
        • 2 Years Ago
        @CA
        Agreed, anyone who thinks Googlers hates cars hasn't walked past the lot. Too bad you can't post pictures cause I'll take a few shots for people to confirm on my lunch.
          RocketRed
          • 2 Years Ago
          @UAVGeek
          Just because a rich person drives a flash car does not mean he likes cars. You could say the same thing about the parking garage at Goldman Sachs. You think the prevalence of Black Series and GT2s down there mean its a hive of gear-heads?
        Polly Prissy Pants
        • 2 Years Ago
        @CA
        "Google is a technology company" Google is an advertising company. Everything else tech related they do is just a hobby and rarely, if ever, makes money.
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