Google has refocused its autonomous driving efforts away from developing its own self-driving car.
That’s according to a report from website The Information quoted by TheVerge.com. It says that the company will instead partner with car makers on more conventional cars with a view to possibly launching an autonomous ride-sharing service by the end of next year.
It says Fiat Chrysler is producing a new prototype vehicle for Google based on the Pacifica minivan; if the testing is successful, they’ll reportedly be used in the eventual commercial service.
The report says Google’s Alphabet business CEO Larry Page and CFO Ruth Porat are said to be behind the decision, believing the existing plan of self-producing a radically new car without a steering wheel to be impractical.
Earlier in the year project leader Chris Urmson left the business – he’d previously said he wanted to see a self-driving car by the end of 2019.