Google is entering into a partnership with IBM and Continental AG, a German autoparts firm, to develop autonomous driving systems for cars. Continental AG has performed its own research into automated car technology. The agreement is said to be en route for an announcement in September.
While many firms are racing to perfect the driverless car, Google's research is perhaps the best known. This is thanks to some amazing demos and legal pushes to allow its self-driving cars to actually drive on U.S. highways (albeit with a human back-up driver). IBM's heritage in high-tech research stands on its own, but perhaps you've not heard of Continental. It's actually already in a partnership with networking experts Cisco, which is investigating the internal tech that automated cars will need alongside car-to-car network chatter (which is one way how automated cars may achieve safe jam-free journeys on freeways).
The companies in question wouldn't comment on the partnership, but it's easy to imagine that this is the first step in taking Google's in-house systems into a more advanced state of readiness. It's becoming more likely that self-driving cars are on the way sooner than you may have thought.
[Image: Flickr user Long Zheng]