GM says it's open to talks with Google, working on self-driving tech

Auto maker is willing to talk to Google or any company working on auto tech

General Motors Co., which already is working on autonomy technology, is willing to talk with Google about getting self-driving cars on the road.

A day before the opening of Automotive News World Congress, a major automotive conference in Detroit, a GM spokesman said the auto maker isn't actively looking for a tech partner but is open to talking with Google – or any company – that is working on automotive advancements.

"We've talked to Google about a variety of things," Dan Flores, a GM spokesman told Computerworld. "We've had projects with them in the past. Would we be willing to talk with them in the future? Sure. We'd talk to any company with potentially interesting technology."

Flores said he wasn't sure if GM's previous talks with Google were regarding autonomous software.

GM's comments come just weeks after Google reported that company executives in the automotive industry.

Google, a company known for online search, the Android platform, Maps and Chrome, isn't interested in become a car manufacturer, a company spokeswoman said.

For that, Google wants a partner to work with them to get self-driving cars on the market and on the road.

With or without a partnership with Google, Flores said GM is within 15 years of selling autonomous cars that can drive on any roads and in any conditions. "I can't put a date on that," he added. "It's not going to happen in the immediate future. We could be talking about five, 10 or 15 years when the technology is advanced enough for a car to drive itself in all circumstances."

However, GM is only about two years away from unveiling the Cadillac CT6, a car being designed with GM's new Super Cruise technology that partially automates high driving. Flores said.

Super Cruise is a driver-assisted technology that would enable the driver to take her hands off the wheel and her foot off the gas with the car maintaining its speed and position in the driving lane.

Built into the 2017 Cadillac CT6, Super Cruise is not designed for anything but highway driving, Flores noted. The new model is expected to be on the market in late 2016.

GM has been working on the autonomous technology for about five years.

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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