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Google's autonomous car project removes control from the driver entirelyGoogle

Alphabet's Google is looking for established car-makers to partner with its autonomous vehicle project. The search giant says it wants to join forces with more auto companies in 2016, during a press conference at the Detroit motor show.

John Krafcik, president of the Google autonomous car project, did not mention any companies by name – despite the company being linked to Ford in recent weeks – but admitted that no firm can create an autonomous car on its own. Krafcik said Google would be partnering "more and more and more" with others to make its self-driving dream a reality.

Speaking at the show, the newly hired president said: "We hope to work with many of you guys. No one goes this alone. We are going to be partnering more and more and more."

Disagreeing with the current stance of most car-makers, Krafcik said Google wants to create a vehicle which is 100% autonomous, reports Reuters, and does not let the driver take control at all. Traditional car companies – including Tesla, which offers more automation to the public than any other – believe that, for now, conventional controls must remain and the driver must be able to take control at any time.

Shouldering the burden of autonomy

The car "has to shoulder the whole burden", Krafcik said. Google's fleet of prototypes include a steering wheel and pedals, but the company hopes that the finished version used by consumers will have only an emergency stop button, with all other driving – in all weather conditions and on all types of roads – carried out by the car and its on-board computer.

Google believes a fully autonomous vehicle will be available to customers by 2020, a year supposedly shared by Apple's secret car project, codenamed Titan. Ford also believes 2020 will be the year of full autonomy, but hasn't explicitly said it will have a fully self-driving car on sale by then. Ford was tipped to announce a partnership with Google's car project at CES in January, but this did not happen.