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...