Google Seeks Multiple Auto Partners for Self-Driving Car Unit

  • Company wants to begin announcing some joint efforts this year
  • Google vehicle chief John Krafcik speaks at Detroit meeting

Google hopes to form partnerships with many automakers and suppliers as it develops self-driving cars to reduce traffic accidents and expand mobility for elderly and disabled people, the head of its vehicle project said.

The Alphabet Inc. company wants to announce some of those joint efforts during 2016, John Krafcik, the Google executive, said in Detroit at an Automotive News conference Tuesday held in conjunction with North American International Auto Show.

Almost every automaker “has been in to speak with us, if only to understand where we are,” Krafcik said. “I don’t know how many we’ll end up having.”

His comments counter speculation that Google would pick a single automaker as its exclusive partner for self-driving cars. Yahoo Autos reported last month that Ford Motor Co. would announce a joint venture with Google on self-driving. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and General Motors Co. have also said they’re talking with Google about developing self-driving cars.

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