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Google in talks with automakers to eventually bring self-driving cars to market

Chris Urmson, director of self-driving cars at Google[x], said today at the Automotive News World Congress that the technology giant has started talks with most of the world’s top automakers and assembled a team of global suppliers to speed its push to bring self-driving cars to market.


The suppliers named by Google included Bosch, which supplies power electronics and long-range radar to Google; ZF Lenksysteme, which supplies a new steering gear; LG Electronics, which supplies the batteries; plus Continental and Roush.


Urmson confirmed that Roush, the Michigan-based engineering and specialty manufacturing company, built the podlike two-seater that Google plans to start testing on public roads this year. Crain’s Detroit Business, an affiliate of Automotive News, reported that relationship last May.


Google didn’t ask a large automaker to build this car, Urmson said during a discussion with Automotive News Publisher and Editor Jason Stein, but intends to do so in the future when it seeks to commercialize its technology.


“At some point, we’re going to be looking to find partners to build complete vehicles, and bring the technology to market,” he said. Asked when that might be, he replied: “when it’s safe and ready.”


Urmson is among more than 20 industry leaders to address the sold out group of more than 1,200 attendees. Additional speakers at the Automotive News World Congress are Mary Barra, CEO, General Motors; Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors; Sergio Marchionne, CEO, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles; Joe Hinrichs, EVP and President – The Americas, Ford Motor Company; Joe Eberhardt, President, Jaguar Land Rover North America; Scott Painter, Founder and CEO, TrueCar; and Jared Rowe, President


The 2015 Automotive News World Congress is the 39(th) annual gathering of leading automotive industry executives in Detroit, which began on Tuesday, January 13, the second and final media preview day of the North American International Auto Show. The theme of the Congress is “Setting the Pace in a Thriving Market,” and includes special sessions on Vehicle Innovation and Retail Marketing.


The Automotive News World Congress is taking place in the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center in downtown Detroit.


The 2015 Automotive News World Congress is sponsored by PwC and IBM. Additional conference sponsors are IHS Automotive, BorgWarner, Brose, Canada, Georgia Allies, Germany Trade & Invest, Microsoft, Dominion Dealer Solutions, GKN, Liase, Invest Macedonia, MSX International, SAP, Steel Market Development Institute, A2MAC1, Gallagher-Kaiser, Infor, OESA, Quickdraft, Schaeffler, and VIA Motors


Recipients of the Polk Loyalty Awards will be announced during Tuesday evening’s dinner program. Wednesday’s dinner program will feature presentation of the Automotive News/PwC Shareholder Value Awards, the BorgWarner Championship Driver’s Trophy to the 2014 Indianapolis 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay and the BorgWarner Team Owner’s Trophy to Michael Andretti. A Thursday morning tour of the North American International Auto Show concludes the conference.


Learn more at or #ANWorldCongress


About Automotive News:


With a 100% paid circulation of more than 60,000 subscribers to the weekly print and digital edition, Automotive News is the leading source of auto industry news, information and understanding in North America. It provides in-depth coverage of the industry and is written for automakers, suppliers, dealers and others allied with the industry. This unsurpassed coverage is complemented online by, e-mail newsletters, video newscasts, webinars and myriad of conferences and events.

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