DETROIT — The CEO of Google’s self-driving car project acknowledged Tuesday that the company is looking to partner with automakers, but refused to go into detail as rumours continue to swirl about a tie-up between Google and Ford Motor Co.
“No one goes this alone. We are going to need a lot of help and in the next stages of our project we’re going to be partnering more and more and more for sure, you can count on it,” John Krafcik said in a speech at the Automotive News World Congress in Detroit.
“I don’t have anything specific to say today, just to make that clear,” he added with a laugh.
Last month, industry publication Automotive News reported that Ford is in talks with Google to build the next generation of self-driving cars under contract, citing an unnamed source.
It was thought that Ford would make an announcement at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week or at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this week, but so far nothing has materialized.
Krafcik made it clear that Google will eventually need help from an established automaker to bring its technology to market.
“Automakers have the talent and the track record of producing cars at scale, and as our technology progresses, we hope to work with many of you guys,” he said.
A personification of the growing collaboration and competition between Detroit and Silicon Valley, Krafcik, the former head of Hyundai Motors America, was hired by Google in September to oversee its self-driving car project.