While Tesla is at the cutting edge with electric cars and are even including self-driving features in their updates to their vehicles, they are still a long way off from realizing a fully functional, tested and vetted self-driving autonomous vehicle. Meanwhile, Apple has been heavily investing in self-driving car engineers which pretty much guarantees they plan to offer something for that market, once it eventually materializes.

Of course, Google is way ahead of the game on this front. They have been thoroughly testing complete self-driving autonomous cars for some time. Their biggest problem is they have no infrastructure to actually mass produce their smart car once it settles on a finalized design. What good is a working and viable prototype if you can never convert it into a market viable consumer product? Google's answer to that conundrum could be Ford.

According to a report from Reuters, Google and Ford are in talks to team up on the manufacture of Google's self-driving autonomous vehicle, and, if they can work out the details, the partnership might be announced as early as CES 2016. Industry speculation suggests that Google plans to create a new business under the Alphabet corporate umbrella that will oversee self-driving car operations. This new company may include a rides-for-hire business model, similar to Uber and/or Lyft.

The report also indicates that Google has been talking to the world's top auto-makers on this project, and their plan is to introduce the self-driving cars to market by 2020. Here's a quote with a few more details regarding the possible partnership between Google and Ford,

"Ford, although lagging behind most competitors, ramped up its pace to develop self-driving cars earlier this year and said it would expand advanced safety technology, including automatic braking, enabling hands-free operation of cars under certain conditions by automating such basic functions as steering, braking and throttle.

This was to be included across its global lineup over the next five years." ~ Reuters