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!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Peter Sayer

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?