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Google, Ford partner on autonomous tech: Report

Google may have landed Ford as an automotive partner.

Google has finally found the automotive partner it's been seeking for its autonomous vehicle technology. According to a new report, Google will announce a vehicle partnership with Ford next month.

Citing three un-named sources with knowledge of the plans, Yahoo Autos is claiming that Google has inked a deal with Ford that will see the Dearborn-based automaker using its self-driving tech in future vehicles. The two companies will form a joint-venture for the autonomous car endeavor, which will reportedly be announced at next month's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Google previously stated that it had no intentions of creating an auto company of its own, citing the high costs and complexity of the requisite infrastructure. Ford, meanwhile, will be able to lean on Google for its years of research and millions of miles logged in the field of autonomous vehicles. Ford announced earlier this month that it will begin testing autonomous vehicles in California in 2016.

Interestingly, the new joint venture is said to be legally separate from Ford, which could be a tactic to shield the automaker from the liabilities of self-driving cars. Companies like Volvo and Mercedes-Benz, and even Google, have said that they would take full responsibility for any crashes involving their autonomous cars.

It remains to be seen when the first self-driving Fords powered by Google might hit the road, but several automakers have pledged to have autonomous tech available to consumers by 2020.

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