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Google has quietly set up its own car company, and it’s name is not exactly thrilling. According to documents obtained by The Guardian, the internet giant’s play in the car space is called…Google Auto.
The news publisher reports that the division is headed up by Chris Urmson, project lead for Google’s self-driving cars. Over the past few months Urmson has been out to charm the world’s big car makers, in the hopes of partnering with them to include Google’s technology in their vehicles. “Making cars is really hard, and the car companies are quite good at it. So, in my mind, the solution is to find a partnership,” he told USA Today back in March.
To date though he hasn’t been successful on that front, something which The Guardian says may be down to the fact that Google already had its own car maker in Google Auto.
According to The Guardian, Google Auto is registered as passenger vehicle manufacturer, and was licensed last year as a car maker in California.
Before you start checking how to pre-order your Google-manufactured car though you should probably know that Google Auto was initially formed as a public liability company so that Google could test and modify the Lexus SUVs that replaced its Prius saloons.
It’s also allowed it to build a range of low speed vehicles for further testing its self-driving systems.
That’s not to say however that Google won’t release its own car at some point in the future. As Sebastian Thrun, who launched Google’s self-driving car project told The Guardian: “The ambition for Google is always to go all the way [from research] to product.”