A Google Nexus car would spur others to improve their technology
Google is said to be looking into the idea of building its own car since it hasn't seen much interest from traditional carmakers in its self-driving car technology.The company has been developing and testing the technology for years and, while the equipment is still too expensive for production use, the software, algorithms, and computer systems that power the cars can be considered quite stable and capable at this point.
But traditional carmakers don't like an outside company like Google to come and tell them what to do, i.e. do things better than they can.
They're not sitting idly by, all major carmakers are working on automated driving systems, but they move at their usual pace, which is incredibly slow.
Left to their own devices, carmakers won't put out a model that's even vaguely resembling the capabilities of Google's cars for another decade and you won't see a self-driving car on the road for two or three decades.
Which is why Google may be considering building its own car. There have been previous reports of the company teaming up with Continental and Magna International, two major car component manufacturers and suppliers.
Google would much rather team up with a carmaker, and it has been looking into doing that. But since there has been no progress on that front, it may go on its own, especially since none of them seem willing to build a fully autonomous vehicle.
Of course, Google has no experience or expertise in building a car, but that hasn't stopped it before. One idea, apparently, is to build a fleet of robo-taxis which would ferry people around town on their own, though they would still require a driver there in case of emergencies.
But Google wants something that can affect the lives of millions of people, something that scales. It could do it on its own, but that would take as much time as it's going to take the car manufacturers to catch up. Tesla Motors has been around for a decade and still hasn't built a car that most people can afford. And Teslas still require a driver.