Both companies have unveiled this week that they will work together to build self-driving cars and their first project will be based on the new FCA’s Pacifica minivan.
Shortly after some media revealed that Google and Fiat Chrysler are in advanced talks over a self-driving car partnership, both companies have finally made the deal official. The agreement marks the first time that Google has worked directly with an automaker to fit its self-driving systems, including its sensors and software, into a passenger vehicle. Therefore, tech giant’s autonomous technologies will be integrated into the new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans to expand Google’s exiting testing programme. Engineers for both companies will work together at a facility in Southeast Michigan, where Fiat Chrysler has its major North American engineering center. FCA will initially design around 100 vehicles uniquely built for Google, for the Silicon Valley firm to incorporate its suite of radars and computers that the models will rely on to self-navigate on roads.
The deal does not preclude either FCA or Google from cooperating with others, the companies said in their statement. “The opportunity to work closely with FCA engineers will accelerate our efforts to develop a fully self-driving car that will make our roads safer and bring everyday destinations within reach for those who cannot drive,” John Krafcik, chief executive of the Google Self-Driving Car Project, said in a statement. Working with Google provides an opportunity for Fiat Chrysler “to partner with one of the world’s leading technology companies to accelerate the pace of innovation in the automotive industry,” FCA’s CEO Sergio Marchionne added.