Google and Ford are reportedly planning a joint venture to build autonomous cars, pairing the strengths of the two companies to get self-driving cars on the road faster.
Ford CEO Mark Fields will make the announcement in January at the 2016 International Consumer Electronics Show, according to Yahoo Autos, citing three sources.
The agreement, if completed, also would be non-exclusive, meaning Google could negotiate a similar deal with another automaker, Yahoo Autos reported.
“By pairing with Google, Ford gets a massive boost in self-driving software development … Google has 53 test vehicles on the road in California and Texas, with 1.3 million miles logged in autonomous driving,” the Yahoo article said. Meanwhile by pairing with Ford, Google gets to avoid spending billions in order to build its own manufacturing facilities.
Earlier this month, Ford announced it officially enrolled in the California Autonomous Vehicle Testing Program, which means it has a permit to begin testing its self-driving Ford Fusion Hybrid in California, where it has established a research center in Silicon Valley, near Google.
An official release from Ford said: “The testing is further advancement of Ford’s 10-year autonomous vehicle development program and a key element of Ford Smart Mobility, the plan to take the company to the next level in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience, and data and analytics.”