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Bloomberg has just published a fascinating write up detailing the race to autonomy, and how it might not be all us vs them for GM.

Keith Naughton spent some significant time with Mark Reuss, GM's product development chief at the Milford Proving Grounds in rural Michigan. Naughton was getting a first hand demonstration of Cadillacs new Super Cruise, which framed the discussion on autonomous cars.

Reuss has been critical in the past of Silicon Valley and Googles efforts to insert themselves into the auto industry. Over the summer for instance he sharply snapped "We’re in the car business today, and they’re not,” but earlier last year he deemed them “a very serious competitive threat.”

But now Reuss seems to be changing his tune, to something similar to those of birds in heat. “I’m not sure it’s an us-vs.-them thing,”

Reuss knows that Google can outspend them, with a market cap that is more then triple the big 3 combined, Google is powerhouse. On this day at Milford, Reuss is surprisingly supportive of the tech giant.

"I love the company,” he gushes. “I love the people in it.” and by the sounds of it, Reuss wants to take his crush to the next level. “We make cars, we know how to make cars,” he says. “They’ve got great technical capabilities. We are very interested in how those two might work together.”

Nothing is imminent, but earlier this month Google co-founder Sergei Brinn said “We are really focused on working with partners” adding later that partners could include major manufacturers.

We shall see...
 

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Lol, that's a fast turnaround from GW and not surprised since Google has such a large budget. They've almost got the self driving program down and it's only a matter of building a housing for it afterwards. Apple is already poaching automotive talents from the traditional car makers and Google can do the same with their budget.
 

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It'll be quite interesting to see how it plays out. I find it hard to imagine how such big companies could work together nicely though. It seems to me that both would be wanting more control. I could see Google making software they put in a GM vehicle, but I can't see Google and GM working together as a partnership to make a single vehicle.
 

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That's why they negotiate, have contracts and all those pre-requisites before things are pushed through, as with any collaborated effort among companies.
 

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Once Google and Apple perfects the self driving system, automotive companies will be clamoring for their partnership.
 

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Once Google and Apple perfects the self driving system, automotive companies will be clamoring for their partnership.
I think that the automotive companies are also researching this pretty heavily. They might not care about Google or Apple if they have a good thing going.
 

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Everyone is aiming for 2020. I think that Ghosn had a good message on it that I read recently.

“The tech companies will take as much space as we are ready to abandon,” Ghosn toldAutomotive News in a reference to Apple, Google and Uber, all of which have assembled sizable teams of experts on self-driving cars. “If we leave ground uncovered, if we are slow in developing autonomous cars, neglecting connected cars, well, guess what? We’re going to be calling for more competition coming from outside the industry.”
 

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Hard to compare two different autonomous cars. Google can recognize humans and drive itself on city roads but we haven't heard much about taking it onto the freeway while toyota's car has done so successfully.
 

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Seems to me that the city driving part will be more difficult to master. Highway driving has many technologies already in working order as the foundation. (e.g. cruise control, and lane departure warning). It also feels like the behaviour of other cars is more predictable on a highway than in the city. Also there are really only cars on the highway, in contrast to the city which has bikes, and pedestrians, and whatever else.
 

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Good point. The snow would reduce the sensor's accuracy.
How would it recognize the larger snow flakes?
LOL it's not about the size of the snow flakes falling, it's about snow covering what the sensor uses to help it gauge how and where to direct the vehicle.
 

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I imagine that the vehicle could tell you to drive manually, or to clear sensors.

With the former, the issue is that people would never drive their cars except when there is bad weather, but they won't have regular driving practice to prepare them for the difficult stuff.
 

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That it should, ultimately it should factor in those changes in what impacts the sensors in good timing along with giving the driver sufficient warning.
 

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It's quite possible. Might end up being a thing where Toyota and others will have to pay up to use some of Google's patents.
 

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I have a feeling they will, those partnerships can benefit both parties big time and it's two companies that are the best at what they do, win win.
 

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This chart is pretty cool. Tells you how different companies stack up in terms of their autonomous driving technology.

 
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