General Motors Company is willing to collaborate with Google on developing the self-driving car technology, according to the chief technology officer of the automaker during the Detroit auto show on Monday.
GM CTO Jon Lauckner clarified that he is not in-charge in making decision of what the automaker will and will not do. However, he personally believes that GM is “certainly open to discuss with them [referring to Google].”
Google expected to announce its intention to seek partnerships
Google made the statement two days prior to the scheduled speech of Google’s Chris Urmson during a conference, which was held every year in connection with the auto show.
Urmson is the head of the self-driving car project of the search engine giant. He is expected to provide information regarding Google’s plans to seek partnerships within the auto industry.
GM and other automakers are competing to develop new features for their cars to make it safer for drivers. Developing the self-driving car technology is one of the long-term visions of U.S. automakers.
Lauckner commented that any automaker needs to determine how a partnership with Google would work when it comes to the development of the self-driving car technology.
Lauckner said, “You have to figure out how something like that actually would work. Would it be something where it would be an opportunity to work together in a joint development agreement?”
“I’d say probably anybody who’s interested ought to at least go over and kick the tires,” he added.
GM previously worked with people at Google’s self-driving program
Lauckner also stated that he will be completely surprised if Google doesn’t have something to offer to GM in terms of working together on the self-driving car project.
According to him, GM previously worked with many of the people at Google who are now working on its self-driving car project including Urmson. In 2007, GM and Carnegie Mellon University worked together on a self-driving SUV that won a DARPA challenge. At the time Urmson was part of the university.
Lauckner concluded that GM knows that Google “have talented people and they have capability” when it comes to developing self-driving cars.
GM launched Chevrolet Bolt
Yesterday, GM introduced its Chevrolet Bolt, a $30,000 electric vehicle with a driving range of 200 miles per charge. GM CEO Mary Barra described the Chevrolet Bolt as a “game-changing electric vehicle designed for attainability not exclusivity.”
The Chevrolet Bolt is expected to challenge the upcoming Model E of Tesla Motors, which also offers a driving range of 200 miles per charge. Both electric vehicles will be available in 2017.