Google is ditching its own plans for a self-driving car.
As reported by TechCrunch, which cited subscription service The Information, Google’s autonomous vehicle unit is opting for more partnerships—like the one it struck with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) earlier this year.
THE COMPANIES IN MAY ANNOUNCED PLANS TO INTEGRATE SELF DRIVING SENSORS
In December 2014, Google unveiled its first fully functional self-driving car—a Volkswagen Beetle-like number which ditches the typical steering wheel and conventional controls for a more roomy compartment.
IN THE MONTHS SINCE, THE GOOGLE SELF DRIVING CAR PROJECT’S TEST FLEET HAS TRAVELED
In the months since, the Google Self-Driving Car Project’s test fleet has traveled more than 1.5 million autonomous miles on public roads. The vehicles are currently motoring around California, Texas, Washington, and Arizona; it is unclear whether they will be retired, or continue racking up real-world experience.
Google did not immediately respond to PCMag’s request for comment.
The Information, however, suggested the search giant isn’t giving up on its ambitions completely, and may introduce an autonomous taxi service sometime next year.
STILL, THERE REMAINS ONE MAJOR HURDLE FOR AUTONOMOUS TECHNOLOGY
Still, there remains one major hurdle for autonomous technology: federal regulations—or lack thereof.
Google, with the help of other tech companies and vehicle manufacturers, is fighting for national self-driving car standards. And it seems to have the ear of the government.
Earlier this year, US Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced a nearly $4 billion, 10-year plan to “accelerate the development and adoption of sale vehicle automation through real-world pilot projects.”
The investment is part of President Obama’s plan to build a “21st century transportation system.”