GOOGLE AND FIAT CHRYSLER have announced a deal to work together to build 100 self-driving minivans, confirming earlier reports of a technology partnership. Under the terms of the agreement, described as a first-of-its-kind collaboration, engineers will integrate Google’s self-driving technology into the all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid. The deal “marks the first time that Google has worked directly with an automaker to integrate its self-driving system, including its sensors and software, into a passenger vehicle,” said the companies in a statement.
The Italian-American carmaker will initially design and engineer around 100 vehicles uniquely built for Google’s self-driving technology, and Google’s Self-Driving Car Project will then integrate the suite of sensors and computers that the vehicles will rely on to navigate roads autonomously. Both companies will co-locate part of their engineering teams at a facility in southeastern Michigan to accelerate the design, testing and manufacturing of the self-driving Chrysler Pacifica, added the partners.
However, Google clarified that it won’t be sharing its self-driving vehicle technology with Fiat Chrysler, and although vehicles will be tested on public roads, they won’t be offered for sale to the public.