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Posted on Wed, Jan 30, 2013 : 2:04 p.m.

Google vs. Detroit? Collaboration, not competition is the answer

By Ben Freed

According to Forbes writer Joann Muller, Google’s driverless car and the connected vehicles research project at the University of Michigan are working towards the same goal, and eventually will work together.

safety-pilot.jpg

UMTRI's connected vehicle project is funded by the US Department of Transportation and has the cooperation 8 different auto manufacturers.

USDOT photo

Muller sees a growing trend of west-coast technology experts who believe that Google’s driving technology will soon surpass the old-guard automakers such as General Motors and Ford. Instead, she sees a gradual trend towards self-driving vehicles that will be led by the traditional car companies.

Google, Microsoft, Intel, and even Apple have a place at the table in Muller’s automotive future, but as partners sharing their digital expertise with the established industry leaders, not leading the charge themselves.

Ben Freed covers business for AnnArbor.com. You can sign up here to receive Business Review updates every week. Reach out to Ben at 734-623-2528 or email him at benfreed@annarbor.com. Follow him on twitter @BFreedinA2

Comments

snapshot

Sat, Feb 2, 2013 : 4:13 a.m.

The American "car" companies haven't been innovative since Henry Ford adapted the slaughterhouse assembly line to building automobiles. They'll be dragged into the necessary fold of innovation when they have no other choice as history has proved over and over again.....at great expense this last time.

Ben Petiprin

Thu, Jan 31, 2013 : 8:13 a.m.

First of all, this idea stinks. Can I have a second by myself where I'm not being monitored by some kind of camera or GPS signal? Just one moment when I have some semblance of control? Allow me to escape from the all seeing eye for just a little bit driving from here to there.

YpsiLivin

Wed, Jan 30, 2013 : 10:03 p.m.

Still not sure I want a search engine company designing a driverless car...

timjbd

Wed, Jan 30, 2013 : 8:21 p.m.

Yeah, electric cars have little chance here because they are prohibitively expensive. Now cars that drive themselves? Please... Get on the bus, people! You'll be glad you did.

Billy

Wed, Jan 30, 2013 : 8:21 p.m.

The problem with all this "hand holding" technology is that is breeds ineptitude exponentially. I love new tech...I've been a futurist from the day I learned that word as a child....but "hand holding" tech will always set the species back. I'm all for protecting the weak....but not for protecting the inept and stupid.

Mike

Wed, Jan 30, 2013 : 7:32 p.m.

Interesting concept............to bad the country is broke. So many good ideas which will never become reality in a financially strapped country.