A report yesterday confirmed that Google has hired John Krafcik, former Hyundai CEO and a car industry veteran, to head up the company’s self-driving car program. It’s still unclear exactly what the implications of this move will be, however. While it seems clear that this effectively confirms Google’s intentions of more broadly rolling out the self-driving car at some point in the future, a Google executive has come out to clarify some things on Tuesday at the Frankfurt auto show…
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Specifically, according to a report from VentureBeat, the Google managing director for Germany, Austria, and Switzerland said on the record that Google doesn’t have any intentions on becoming a vehicle manufacturer. When questioned on the potential for a car business in the future, Justus made clear that the Mountain View-based company is dependent on its manufacturing partners, adding that auto makers Bosch and zf friedrichshafen are a couple of many partners.
“That is not something we could do alone,” Google’s Philipp Justus said, “Google also does not intend to become a car manufacturer.”
Even considering this, however, Google does indeed seem to be expanding its plans for the self-driving car. According to a recent report from The Guardian, the company has ramped up production of its prototype electric self-driving cars, now producing at least a “few hundred.” As for timing of a wider rollout in California, Google’s Sarah Hunter seems very confident. “Whenever California passes its operational regulations. We’re just waiting for that,” she said.