There’s no doubt about it: for a company that makes most of its money from web ads, Google knows how to make an adorable self-driving car. The search giant’s automotive prowess isn’t going unnoticed by the industry’s more established players, either. Mark Reuss, GM’s executive VP of global product development, told recently told Bloomberg that he could see Google becoming a “serious competitive threat” in the motoring realm. Yes, that seems like a “well, duh” confession to us too, especially now that Google will roll out at least 100 of those cutesy, two-seater prototype cars for some real world testing later this year.
Google Inc. (GOOG) could become a “serious competitive threat” to the auto industry if it continues to push its self-driving cars, said Mark Reuss, product-development chief at General Motors Co. (GM) GM, which is developing its own autonomous vehicle technology, isn’t in a race with Google to create driverless cars, he told reporters yesterday in Detroit. Google announced May 27 that it plans to deploy at least 100 fully autonomous vehicles that it designed in tests starting this year. The two-seat cars will have a top speed of 25 miles (40 kilometers) per hour and no steering wheel. The Mountain View, California-based company previously had been testing its technology in other vehicles, such as Toyota Motor Corp.’s Prius. “Anybody can do anything with enough time and money,” Reuss said. “If they set their mind to it, I have no doubt” that they could become “a very serious competitive threat.”