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Ford's worried about making cars, not competing with Waymo

Alan Diaz/AP

Ford's abrupt naming of a new CEO—James Hackett, the head of its Smart Mobility division—makes it clear that the company wants to catch up in the self-driving race. In explaining the Ford board's move, NBC aptly pointed out that Waymo is ahead of the automaker (and all other self-driving car companies, for that matter) when it comes to miles driven autonomously and a good track record of safety drivers not having to intervene in cars' operations.

Apple and oranges: But these metrics aren't the only assessment of a company's potential. What's more, the two companies are more likely to work together than to compete with each other given their respective business models and core competencies.