Google Self-Driving Car technology is to be tested in a Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid MPV – the first time Google’s worked directly with a car maker to integrate its autonomous car tech into a production passenger vehicle.
The deal is a major coup for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) which will work with Google to fully integrate all the self-driving sensors and software into the 2017 Chrysler: testing will begin later in 2016.
It’s no one-off build either: FVA will build 100 self-driving Chryslers carrying Google self-driving tech, in a co-location facility in Michigan.
They’ll first be tested on a California racetrack before being rolled out onto public roads.
Previously, it was rumoured Ford would be collaborating with Google to co-develop self-driving cars: an announcement was expected at CES 2016 back in January, but it didn’t occur. Now, it seems FCA has picked up the baton.
“FCA has a nimble and experienced engineering team and the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan is well-suited for Google’s self-driving technology,” said John Krafcik, CEO of the Google Self-Driving Car Project.
“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.”
“Working with Google provides an opportunity for FCA to partner with one of the world’s leading technology companies to accelerate the pace of innovation in the automotive industry,” said Sergio Marchionne, CEO of FCA.
“The experience both companies gain will be fundamental to delivering automotive technology solutions that ultimately have far-reaching consumer benefits.”