Ford is in talks with Google to plan a joint venture building self-driving cars. Both companies have not confirmed but this partnership would pave the way for a new business of automated ride sharing,

Yahoo! Autos reported that the partnership might be announced in January at the Consumer Electronics Show. Google has already tested 53 self-driving vehicles in California and Texas, logging more than 2 million kilometres in the past few years.

Partnership details are unclear but Yahoo! Auto notes that Google’s venture would be legally separated from Ford to prevent any liability issues. Google would avoid spending a huge sum of money creating the company’s own automotive production. Plus, Google cofounder Sergey Brin mentioned that self-driving systems will help get rid of the 33,000 annual US car deaths.

Ford spokesman Alan Hall declined to comment, saying that these discussions should be left in private for competitive reasons. According to Wired magazine, Google is working on a car with no steering wheel and pedals, allowing people to sit back while the vehicle does all the work.

Google Inc. plans to make self-driving cars unit a stand-alone business under the Alphabet Inc. in 2016, providing taxis or car-sharing services in urban areas, Bloomberg reports. This strategy would enable the company to compete with Uber.

Other automakers like Mercedes, Audi, GM, and Tesla also plan to launch features that will let the car drive temporarily, using drivers as backup in times of failure. However, Google and Ford omit this strategy because problems would arise in transferring control safely between the car and the person during emergency.

“Right now, there’s no good answer, which is why we’re kind of avoiding that space,” Ford’s vice president of Research and Advanced Engineering Ken Washington said. “We’re really focused on completing the work to fully take the driver out of the loop.” Much like Google, Ford is fast forwarding to full automation, with hopes of offering a no-kidding, fully autonomous car in five years.”

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