Photo: AP

Remember that non-existent rumor a couple years back about Facebook—that, like other oversized tech behemoths of Silicon Valley, it could be making a self-driving car? It wasn’t true then, and it’s not true now. That’s according to the company’s chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg.

At the Frankfurt car show this week, Sandberg offered up a joke of sorts to automakers in attendance.

“We come with very good news — we’re the only company in Silicon Valley that’s not building a car,” Sandberg said, according to Bloomberg. “We have a lot to learn from you,” she went on. “We don’t have your history, we don’t have your staying power, even though we aspire to make it to 100 years.”


That has to bring at least a tiny glimmer of hope to traditional automakers trying to wade through the onslaught of competition in the autonomous vehicle field. Between Google’s Waymo and Apple’s renewed self-driving car ambitions, the addition of another tech stalwart from the Valley would’ve made an already-insanely packed crowd feel almost oppressive.

But Sandberg said the company is interested in working with automakers in other, somewhat-related areas, reports Bloomberg, including artificial intelligence and assisting the industry on how to utilize various “digital tools.”


Here’s more from Bloomberg:

Sandberg said it’s “an honor for us to invest and partner in Germany,” where Facebook is joining the Munich-based Mobility Hub, an innovation initiative supported by the likes of Daimler, BMW and SAP SE. Facebook will sponsor desks, events and training with some of its engineers, working on anything from AI to product development.


So—at least for now—count Facebook out of the self-driving car race.