The concept of driver-less cars has been around for quite some time, dating all the way back to post-war American optimism. That optimism has continued over the past few decades, but we’re just now beginning to see the fruits of said optimism.
Technologies like adaptive cruise control and Cadillac’s upcoming Super Cruise technology will really begin to transfer responsibility from the driver, to the vehicle.
In the latest Bloomberg piece, the publication rides along with General Motors product chief, Mark Reuss, and explores whether an automaker like GM, or a tech company like Google, will be the first to really reshape how the consumer thinks of driving.
Reuss says he takes the threat from new autonomous technology seriously, and not just from companies like Google, but from many other automakers working to do the same thing. In fact, the executive realizes GM cannot stay in its traditional sales model forever, as more new car buyers look to service-based forms of transportation.
“Yep, we’re done,” he told Bloomberg. “I like being in those kinds of situations. It’s kind of like Apollo 13.”
But, he also spells the beginning of what could be a giant collaboration in the future. GM has already worked with Google to integrate Android Auto across many of its new vehicles, and for as many words Reuss has for the competition, he recognizes what Google can do well.
“I love working with them,” he said. “I think they feel the same way. We make cars, we know how to make cars. They’ve got great technical capabilities. We are very interested in how those two might work together.”
This echoes statements from GM CEO, Mary Barra, who has said multiple times it is not mergers that will fuel the future, but strategic alliances and partnerships. GM has already flexed these muscles with its continued partnership with Honda for fuel-cell technology, and LG Chem to supply essential hardware for the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV.
Though, if reports like this are anything to go by, expect more autonomy, and less interaction in future-mainstream vehicles from not just GM, but nearly every automaker.