Reports out of the U.S. Tuesday indicate Ford Motor Co. and Google are in talks to have the automaker build the tech company’s next-generation of autonomous cars.
Few details have been shared, but a source told Automotive News that both parties have been hammering out a manufacturing contract. An announcement might come in early January during the Consumer Electronics Show held annually in Las Vegas.
The news outlet says neither side would confirm the negotiations, though Google reps did say the company was talking to automakers.
Making the story that much more believable is the fact that former Ford CEO Alan Mullaly sits on Google’s board of directors. Also adding legitimacy is John Krafcik, hired in September to head Google’s self-driving car project. While his last job before Google was at TrueCar, he previously worked as CEO of Hyundai Motor America.
Automotive News says current Ford CEO Mark Fields visited the automaker’s Silicon Valley research facility in Palo Alto, Calif., last week.
At that time, he was asked why Ford is developing its own software for self-driving cars as opposed to signing an agreement with a proven vendor.
Fields apparently joked that Silicon Valley practically invented the idea of “frenemies,” meaning companies willing to collaborate despite the fact they compete against one another.
- With files from Automotive News