General Motors Willing To Talk With Google About Self-Driving Cars

Auto / Tech

A few weeks ago, Google was looking for automotive partners to help with their self-driving car ambitions.  It seems that they may have their first potential suitor.  Speaking at the Detroit Auto Show, General Motors’ Chief Technical Officer Jon Lauckner gave at least the smallest indication that GM could be interested in working with Google on self-driving cars.

“I’m not in charge of deciding what we will and won’t do, but I’d say we’d certainly be open to having a discussion with them,”

While that’s not the biggest vote of confidence in the world – and this honestly sounds more like passing the buck – it’s at least a sign that major automakers understand and value what Google can bring to the table.  I’m sure Google will be happy to discuss even the slightest interest by any automakers to help their vision for the self-driving car come to fruition.

This match almost seems too good to be true.  General Motors has a lot of clout in the industry, and has a long and storied history of building and selling wildly popular vehicles.  Google could focus on the self-driving technology, and incorporating that technology into existing vehicles rather than building a car from scratch.  Could you imagine a self-driving version of the recently announced Chevy Bolt electric vehicle?  It would certainly look better than Google’s self-driving prototype at any rate.

We shouldn’t get too excited though, this is simply one quote and a whole lot of speculation.  Mr. Lauckner may have already dumped the proverbial bucket of cold water on the whole deal with this follow up:

“You have to figure out how would something like that actually work,” Lauckner said. “Would it be something where it would be an opportunity to work together in a joint development agreement?”

Yep, money, bureaucracy, and red tape… Admittedly, Google has more than enough cash to be able to sweeten the pot, though it will remain to be seen how much control Google is willing to relinquish on their technology.  This could be the start of something great, or it could be absolutely nothing.

What do you think?  Are GM and Google a match made in heaven? Are there any other automakers you’d like to see working with Google instead?  Let us know in the comments or on Googe+, Facebook, or Twitter.

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