Channel NewsAsia

Google adds former Ford Motor Company chief to board

Google on Tuesday announced that former Ford Motor Company chief Alan Mulally has joined it board of directors.

SAN FRANCISCO: Google on Tuesday announced that former Ford Motor Company chief Alan Mulally has joined it board of directors.

The auto and aviation industries veteran joined the Google board as the California technology firm continued to steer a self-driving car toward the market.

Mulally was appointed to the California technology titan's board on July 9, according to a blog post.

"Alan brings a wealth of proven business and technology leadership experience," Google chief Larry Page said in a prepared statement.

Mulally served as the chief of Ford from September of 2006 to June of this year. He was an executive at aircraft maker Boeing prior to working at Ford.

Mulally, who has university degrees in engineering and management, will serve on Google's audit committee.

"I am honored to serve on the board of a global iconic company that is dedicated to enhancing our lives," Mulally said in the blog post.

"I look forward to working together with the Google board and management team to continue to deliver their compelling vision."

Google in May unveiled plans to build its own self-driving car -- minus the steering wheel -- that it hoped to begin testing this year.

"They won't have a steering wheel, accelerator pedal, or brake pedal... because they don't need them. Our software and sensors do all the work," Google's Chris Urmson said in a blog post at the time.

Urmson, who directs the self-driving car project, said Google plans to build about 100 prototypes, "and later this summer, our safety drivers will start testing early versions of these vehicles that have manual controls."

He added, "If all goes well, we'd like to run a small pilot program here in California in the next couple of years."

For Google, the car marks a shift away from adapting vehicles made by others in its quest to pioneer individual transport that needs only a stop-and-go function.

The blog post showed a photo of a prototype and an artist's rendering -- both rounded vehicles.

Previously, Google's autonomous auto ambitions were steered toward re-fitting Lexus and Honda cars to work as self-driving ones.

Tweet photos, videos and updates on this story to  @channelnewsasia