Alphabet Inc is working to bring a self-driving car to market, but it needs a “lot of help,” says the head of Google’s self-driving car project – Peter Krafcik. The firm is seeking a traditional carmaker partner to help it in its self-driving vehicle endeavors.
Alphabet needs help
Krafcik told this during a presentation at the Annual Automotive News conference in Detroit. “The message is that we understand . . . we are going to need a lot of help in the next stage of our project. We’re going to be partnering more and more and more,” Krafcik said.
The statement from Krafcik follows a report late last year, which claimed that Alphabet Inc was close to sign a deal with Ford for developing self-driving cars. Recently, Ford announced of ramping its testing program for the self-driving technology
Our cars are safer
On Tuesday, Alphabet hit back at certain statistics that suggested Google’s self-driving cars suffered more crashes than those driven by the humans. In a report, the academics at Virginia Tech noted that Google’s car have been involved in 8.7 crashes for each million miles driven, which is way higher than the national average of 1.9 per million for regular cars, in the US.
Alphabet hit back describing the earlier report as a case of comparing ‘apples to oranges’. The fact that many crashes involving humans go unreported and the fact that the severity of most crashes involving autonomous cars is minor has not been taken into consideration, the Internet firm said. Google’s report said that if adjustment for both these factors are made, then the accident rate of the Google cars would be 25% less than the cars with drivers.
Alphabet shares more details about its cars
On Tuesday, Alphabet also provided more information on its car. The firm prepared a report for the California Department of Motor Vehicles in which it has stated that there have been 272 instances, when its car got disengaged from the autonomous-drive mode, and immediately handed over the control of the car to the person seated on the driver’s seat. Alphabet said on average the driver took 0.83 seconds to get the car in control.
Referring to the incidents between September 2014 and November 2015, Director of Self-Driving cars at Alphabet – Chris Urmson – said, “Software detected an anomaly somewhere in the system that could have had possible safety implications; in these cases it immediately handed control of the vehicle to our test driver.”
On Tuesday, Alphabet Inc shares closed up 1.67% at $745.34. Year to date, the stock is down over 4% while in the last one-month, it is down almost 1%. The stock has a 52-week high of $798.69, and a 52-week low of $490.91