In a post over at Jessica Lessin, writer Amir Efrati says that this is due to the recent failed attempts of Google to create partnerships with giant automakers. It seems that the Internet search giant is struggling to implement its set of standards to develop full-fledge self-driving automobiles.
Google reportedly met and held talks with contract manufacturers in the previous months to build cars according to Google's specifications. Contract manufacturers reportedly includes Continental AG, a leading German auto and truck parts manufacturing company, and Magna International a large automobile parts manufacturer in North America.
Interestingly, Google is said to be considering "Robo-Taxi" as the official name of the cars. These self-driving cars will be designed to pick up passengers on demand. Google's main idea, Efrati says, is to reduce the need for people to buy cars while minimizing accidents on the road.
Ironically, Google is said to be planning to require passengers to sit behind the wheel, at first, in case of emergencies. Obviously, the innovation is one thing, and the potential risks involved is another. So far Google has declined to comment on the report.
For now, everything is a "moonshot," a term used at Google's R&D lab (Google X) which basically means high-risk projects that, if succesful, would yield huge payouts. So, would you want to ride on a robo-taxi?
Source: Jessica Lessin