Google has just announced its partnership with a handful of car manufacturers to expedite production on their self-driving car concept. Last month, Google unveiled their first working prototype of the self-driving car. Though the search giant could make a single prototype, it was manufactured in Detroit by an engineering and speciality manufacturing company called Roush, not a major car company. Now, they’re partnering with top auto makers like General Motors, Ford, Toyota, Daimler AG and Volkswagen to speed up the process.
Chris Urmson, director of Google’s self-driving car project, told Reuters in an interview that with the addition of top auto manufacturers, Google plans to have self-driving cars on the road by 2020. He also explains that Google does not see any particular regulatory hurdles that may delay the cars’ availability within 5 years.
Though many believe that self-driving cars are a gigantic safety hazard on the road, Urmson remains confident in his vision. He explains:
You’re really changing the relationship you have with transportation. You’re changing what it means to get around… You look at a car … and people forget just how much magic there is in that thing.
We can expect to see prototypes hit the road relatively soon, but Google won’t have a product for average consumers in a few years’ time.