Tech giant Google has joined hands with car-maker Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) to integrate the former's self-driving technology into the latter's 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans. FCA said in a statement on Tuesday this is the first time Google is working directly with an automaker to integrate its self-driving system, including sensors and software, into a passenger vehicle.
As per the collaboration, FCA will initially design and develop nearly 100 vehicles built exclusively for Google's self-driving technology. Google will integrate the sensors and computers the cars will rely on to navigate roads autonomously. The companies will work at a facility in South Eastern Michigan on the design, testing and manufacturing of the self-driving Chrysler Pacifica.
"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, chief executive officer of the Google Self-Driving Car Project, in a 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," he added.
With a target to commercialise self-driving cars by 2020, Google in said in a public statement on Tuesday that the company was planning to double its self-driving car fleet with the initial addition of about 100 new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans. The company also plans to put the first few units on the road by the end of this year.
FCA is not only the car maker working towards autonomous vehicles. BMW, Audi, Ford, General Motors, Mercedes-Benz and Tata Motors are among more than a dozen auto-giants working on the technology.