American automobile manufacturer Ford Motor Co has reportedly joined hands with Google Inc to develop next-generation autonomous cars.
The official statement on the alliance is expected at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on 5 January. A report in Automotive News says the deal has been finalised.
According to the report, a Google spokesman said the company would not comment on speculation, although Google officials confirmed that the company is talking to automakers.
Ford will setup an independent company that will aid in no-liability concerns for the automaker. Also, the deal between the two companies would be non-exclusive.
Google has been at the forefront in the self-driving car arena, with its car covering many kilometers in trial runs. Ford's know-how of mass production will help Google launch the car in a profitable way. In return, Ford will get arguably the best real-world autonomous drive research.
Ford is also working on its own self-driving prototypes, and recently announced it would start publicly testing autonomous cars in California in 2016.
This comes a few months after Google hired John Krafcik as CEO of the company's Self-Driving Car Project. He was CEO of Hyundai Motor America. Former Ford CEO Alan Mulally also joined Google's board of directors on 1July, 2014. Both individuals play a key role in Google's self-driving car division's future strategies.