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Google looking for self-driving car partners

Luke Johnson

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Google self-driving car

Google is seeking to partner with automotive manufacturers as is looks to take its self-driving cars project to the next level.

While the company has self produced its early autonomous cars, Google has announced it has no intention of building large numbers of the futuristic mode of transport single handed.

We don’t particularly want to become a car maker,” Chris Urmson, Director of Google’s self-driving car project said.

Speaking in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, he added: “We are talking [with] and looking for partners.”

Although Urmson has failed to detail exactly which car manufacturers Google is speaking with, he confirmed work has already begun on a new “beta one” prototype.

Looking to realise the company’s ongoing progress in the space, the ‘beta one’ machine will reportedly move the project on three generations over the basic cars unveiled earlier this year.

Set to be road tested in early 2015, the new self-driving cars will be designed for use in city centres and will be limited to speeds under 25 miles-per-hour.

With the potential benefits of self-driving cars being pretty clear, Urmson has stressed Google will only pursue the project if it can go all in.

Insisting that the company must make a car that is solely and wholly independent of any driver input, he stated: “A partially automated car doesn’t help a blind man get lunch or help an aging widow get to her social events.”

Related: Driverless Cars: Everything you need to know

Earlier this month the British government confirmed driverless cars would be tested in four UK cities early next year.

With the announcement made during the autumn statement, Milton Keynes, Coventry, Bristol and Greenwich in London were all announced as trial locations.

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