Google and Fiat ink deal to make 100 self-driving minivans

fiat_chrysler_automobiles_logo

http://www.freep.com/story/money/cars/2016/05/03/google-fiat-chrysler-fca-self-driving-cars-chrysler-pacifica/83891878/

Google and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said Tuesday they will collaborate to combine the tech giant’s self-driving car technology into 100 Pacifica minivans, giving the automaker a high-profile partner that could help it catch up to competitors.

For Google, the vehicles will be used to turbocharge its 7-year-old autonomous car program. For FCA, the agreement provides a technological crash course in what it takes to transform a standard vehicle into an autonomous one.

Google and other tech companies “are not my enemy, these are people who will help us shape the next phase of the automotive industry,” FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne said. FCA shares gained 3% to $8.20 after USA TODAY reported on the deal late Tuesday.

FCA said the companies will colocate engineering teams at a site in southeastern Michigan and will work out of that site to do the design, testing and manufacturing of the self-driving Chrysler Pacifica. Both the automaker and Google declined to say specifically where that work will occur.

The deal is evidence of rapid movement towards collaboration between tech companies in Silicon Valley and automakers, said Karl Brauer, senior director of Insights at Kelley Blue Book.

“It’s a big deal because it validates the idea that tech companies are almost going to be forced to work with existing automakers if they want to efficiently and effectively create self-driving technology,” Brauer said.

Tech companies need automakers because of the sheer amout of time, money and manufacturing presence that is necessary to build vehicles.

General Motors is in the process of acquiring Cruise Automation, the 3-year-old start-up that has developed a highway autopilot product that could accelerate GM’s quest for a fully autonomous car.

In March, Ford announced the creation of Ford Smart Mobility, a new subsidiary formed to design, build, grow and invest in emerging mobility services.

The partnership represents the first time Google’s team will be sharing some of its secretive technology with a major automaker. Its existing fleet consists of a few dozen Lexus SUVs modified by Google staffers as well as a few two-person prototypes built in-house.

The two companies don’t as yet have a plan to put the self-driving technology into new Chrysler vehicles.

———-

“Google and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said Tuesday they will collaborate to combine the tech giant’s self-driving car technology into 100 Pacifica minivans, giving the automaker a high-profile partner that could help it catch up to competitors.”

they love control eh?

“The deal is evidence of rapid movement towards collaboration between tech companies in Silicon Valley and automakers, said Karl Brauer, senior director of Insights at Kelley Blue Book.”

401

~ by seeker401 on May 9, 2016.

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