Google's Self-Driving Car Rumored to Be Built By Roush

Google's self-driving prototype and Roush Mustang 1 photo
Photo: image edited by autoevolution
As most of you already know, Google is planning to strap a set of wheels to its famous Maps app. No longer will you have to use Google Maps in your car, as the company recently announced it is working on a fleet of prototypes that will only ask you for the destination and then drive themselves, without even featuring controls in their cabins. The plan sounds very Google, but what everybody wants to know is who will build these vehicles. Apparently, Roush is the chosen one.
Despite Google using a "safe search on" approach, aiming to block access to all information on the project for the moment, insiders told Automotive News that US developer Roush will make Google's ambition a reality.

Most of you know Roush for their heavily modified Mustangs, something that's not exactly the same as Google's plan of eliminating the human factor in driving. Nevertheless, Roush has a 30-year history of automotive affairs, with their business going as deep as full vehicle development.

What qualifies Roush for the job is its southeast Michigan location - Google's project is all about suppliers and, apparently, Roush has exactly the right chain.

Roush is expected to start with bits and pieces from existing vehicles, in its aim to help Google make steps towards autonomous driving.

We'll remind you that Google shook the auto world late Tuesday, when they announced their plans to introduce a fleet of 100 self-driving vehicles that would not feature a steering wheel or pedals.

While Google has been testing its autonomous driving tech since 2009 using vehicles such as the Toyota Prius, the new project sees the company wrapping the package in an unusual design. Google's prototypes come with a pod-like appearance, having the size of a smart fortwo. Two doors and two seats are enough for now.

Not surprisingly, these are electric vehicles and they offer a top speed of 25 mph (40 km/h).

As you can expect, safety is paramount and the vehicles will be fitted with a plethora of active and passive safety features. For instance, the windshield will be built out of a polymer that will be as pedestrian-friendly as possible.

The shrine of ideas comes from the Google X research laboratory, led by none other than company co-founder Sergey Brin. Google said it has approached automotive suppliers in Detroit, California and Germany, but this is where the official info ends.

While Roush obviously has the resources to build the test vehicle fleet, it is a bit ironic to see such a company deal with taking the wheel away from the driver.
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About the author: Andrei Tutu
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In his quest to bring you the most impressive automotive creations, Andrei relies on learning as a superpower. There's quite a bit of room in the garage that is this aficionado's heart, so factory-condition classics and widebody contraptions with turbos poking through the hood can peacefully coexist.
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