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Ford, Google Car Deal: Who Needs Whom

Note to Google & Ford: Don’t Call It ‘Edsel’
12/22/2015 06:03 PM EST
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keep friends close and enemies closer still
pinaz   12/25/2015 1:22:53 PM
Apple didn't invent touchscreens or tablets.  Toyota didn't invent the hybrid automobile.  Tesla didn't invent electric cars.  However, most of the public thinks otherwise.

Ford probably realized that Google was going to contract with someone (domestic manufacturer or China).  By having their name associated with this early endeavor, Ford can ride the halo effect and garner publicity over the long term.  Ford wants to present itself as an integrated electronics (in vehicles) leader, and this jibes with Google's vision of passive passengers consuming media.

I see this as a publicity move with the hope of learning from Google's early mistakes.


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Re: Ford is buying a talent pool
junko.yoshida   12/23/2015 7:14:48 AM
Thanks for chiming in, Bert. I think you are dead on by explaining:

Ford is simply trying to streamline the process of developing the cutting edge algorithms needed for assisted and/or autonomous driving


I don't doubt that. But somehow, I think that Ford might take a dual strategy. While letting this new venture with Google experiment with fully automated cars used as a car as a service, they might pursue their own "driver-in-the-middle" cars.

As for liability issues, you are correct. Volvo and Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz have also
pledged to accept liability if their vehicles cause an accident. But some lawyers do see it as a marketing ploy -- for the time being. It will be necessary to entice consumers to make the first step in consider the use of self-driving cars. 

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Ford is buying a talent pool
Bert22306   12/22/2015 8:24:41 PM
I think Ford is simply trying to streamline the process of developing the cutting edge algorithms needed for assisted and/or autonomous driving. And I doubt that anyone in the auto industry thinks assisted driving is all the future holds. Seems to me, this is just a first step in the evolution, and that Ford is fully aware of this.

The legal issues are important, but didn't Volvo already state that they would assume the risk for accidents in autonomous mode? If Ford hasn't agreed to that just yet, I see this too as one of those issues that is evolving into some kind of auto industry standard.

In short, I think that the differences between Ford's vision and Google's vision are not going to last long into the future. They will merge, for them and for all the other players, soon enough.

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