The company’s managing director for central and eastern Europe Philipp Justus told the Frankfurt auto show that the company was working on cars in partnership with the auto industry, but was not planning to become a car manufacturer.
Google has named auto industry veteran John Krafcik, a former CEO of Hyundai Motors America, as chief executive of its self-driving car project. The hiring of Krafcik is seen as a sign the tech giant is starting to look at the project as a potential and relevant business in the future.
Google’s pet project of driverless cars started in 2009 with an intention to revolutionise the car industry. However Justus said that it was not something Google could do alone. Google’s partners included automotive suppliers Bosch and zf friedrichshafen.
BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi are snapping up software experts as tech firms such as Google threaten to outflank them in the race to develop a self-driving car.
Software expertise has become a new battleground for automakers and tech firms as cars need lines of code to connect electric car motors to batteries, talk to smartphones or activate brakes when a radar system detects an obstacle ahead.