Although that report is still unverified, the Ford partnership could add validity.
Chances are good the scoop is true, however. In November, Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford Jr. said that the carmaker would need to pair with big tech companies in order to survive the coming series of revolutions facing the transportation industry.
If Google and Ford do team up, the move could signal that people inside Google realized that manufacturing a car from scratch was unfeasible — or at least far too costly. Rather than using Ford to make its own pod cars like the one pictured above. It's instead likely that Google will just utilize Ford cars for its own aspirations.
In terms of a timeline, if the report is true, you can expect to see the fruits of this endeavor within a few years if not sooner.
This likely won't be the only pairing Google makes with a carmaker. Just as it has done with smartphone manufacturers, the company could become the brains behind all kinds of self-driving cars while it leaves the hardware to someone else.