If a deal is struck, the outlets expect the partnership to be announced at the upcoming International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, which is scheduled from Jan. 6-9, 2016.
Though spokespeople from both Google and Ford did not comment on the speculation, Google confirmed it’s talking with various automakers for implementing its self-driving system in vehicles.
Already, Google has a fleet of self-driving cars out on the roads. The fleet has logged over 1.3 million autonomous miles.
Earlier this month, Ford announced its plans to start testing self-driving Ford Fusion Hybrid sedans in the area surrounding its Palo Alto research and innovation facility. Additionally, the hybrid vehicles will be tested at Univ. of Michigan’s Mcity Test Facility, a 32-acre area that simulates urban and suburban environments, according to USA Today.
According to Yahoo Autos, the potential Google-Ford deal—at its current understanding—is non-exclusive, allowing Google to partner with other automakers wishing to use its self-driving system.
In January, Ford announced its Smart Mobility Plan, which aims to change the way the world moves.
“We’re already manufacturing and selling semi-autonomous vehicles that use software and sensors to steer into both parallel and perpendicular parking spaces, adjust speed based on traffic flow or apply the brakes in an emergency,” said Raj Nair, Ford’s chief technical officer. “There will be a Ford autonomous vehicle in the future, and we take putting one on the road very seriously.”
“Our priority is in making the first Ford autonomous vehicle accessible to the masses and truly enhancing customers’ lives,” said CEO and President Mark Fields.
In 2016, Google plans on making its self-driving car unit its own business under the Alphabet Inc. banner. Bloomberg reported the company is developing an Uber-like competitor.
Two former Ford executives have made their way to Google recently. John Krafcik, who spent 14 years as a chief engineer at Ford, joined Google as the CEO of the Self-Driving Car Project in September. In July 2014, former Ford CEO Alan Mulally became the 11th member of Google’s board. According to The Wall Street Journal, Mulally brings additional expertise in the aviation industry, as he was a former Boeing executive.