Alphabet's self-driving car may keep the steering wheel after all

Ditching the headphone jack is easy; the steering wheel, not so much

Google's parent company does not yet have the courage to build a car with no steering wheel or pedals, preferring to put its self-driving technology into existing cars from traditional auto manufacturers.

Thats the conclusion of news site The Information in a report published Monday citing people close to Alphabet's autonomous vehicle project.

The technology is moving closer to market, and the company no longer considers it a "moonshot," the head of its "X" research lab Astro Teller told The Wall Street Journal in October.

It's over a year since it appointed former head of Hyundai U.S. John Krafcik to oversee its autonomous driving activities, which it began accounting for as a separate business on Jan. 1.

But now, The Information said, the company is moving away from plans to build and sell cars itself, preferring to partner with existing auto manufacturers to put its technology in their cars alongside traditional driver controls.

Apple's secretive self-driving car efforts have followed a similar wavering course between full-on construction and add-on smarts. In October reports emerged that it was scaling back its plans for a car of its own, instead looking to develop its own autonomous driving system and partner with manufacturers to get it on the road.

Auto manufacturers including Audi, Volvo and Tesla are working on self-driving cars of their own, but there are other companies -- besides Google and Apple -- that want a share of that market. Auto equipment maker Delphi has a self-driving car platform on the road, and even Intel is investing in the market.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Peter Sayer

Peter Sayer

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?