Google Inc is already taking the lead in the self-driving space where its cars are already logging millions of autonomous miles at a time when its closest rivals are still grappling with concept ideas for self-driving cars. However, veterans in the automotive space will soon challenge Google’s lead in the self-driving space. Leading the charge against Alphabet’s self-driving car technology segment is General Motors .
General Motors has more than 107 years of experience in building cars and it believes that it can take on Alphabet and beat the firm the race to deliver the “practical” self-driving cars that would lead to mass adoption. BBC reports that General Motors has revealed the firm’s decision to enter the tech-driven self-driving auto space. General Motors decision takes the plan by traditional automakers such as Volkswagen and BMW’s plan to enter the EV space to a higher level.
General Motors wants to Challenge Google
General Motors has revealed that it is on track to have a driverless Chevy Volt ready for the market by 2016. General Motor’s plan is a twin approach designed to take on both Tesla Motors Inc and Google Autos at the same time. Tesla makes electric cars but it is still far out on making self-driving cars – the best it has are some autopilot features in its Model S and Model X. A self-driving electric car from General Motors might take the winds out of Tesla’s sails.
Google on the other hand has a self-driving technology but specs are sketchy as to whether the cars run on gas or batteries. However, Google’s cars are less than practical at the current size – except for the Lexus; those cute Panda-like cars are more like golf carts. More so, the firm doesn’t have an assembly line where it can actually make its cars for the mass market.
In fact, Alphabet’s President and co-founder, Sergey Brin has hinted that it would be working with a couple of OEMs to take the cars public. In his words, “to bring this project to scale, we need to partner with top-tier OEMs”.
Google is ahead in the race to self –driving cars
Google already has its self-driving cars on the road– the firm reported that the cars have logged 1.2 million miles and they’ve only recorded 26 accidents within those period. Fortune reports that Google’s self-driving car might come up sooner than expected – Chris Urmson, director of the self-driving car project at Alphabet has hinted at a four-year period for the cars. He was quoted saying, “I have a 12-year-old son… My goal is for him not to need a driver’s license.”
There is no doubt that General Motors can deliver an electric car that might beat Tesla’s upcoming mass-market Model 3. However, it is doubtful that the firm can deliver a self-driving car that can take on Google’s self-driving cars in the next four years. Google has the talent and experience for building software and AI, it understands its production limitations and it would work with OEMs. General Motors has brute strength in its factory but it doesn’t have the talent, probably lacks the culture that can attract that talent, and it doesn’t quite have willpower to work with a tech firm.