Google to Build 100 Self-Driving Minivans with Fiat Chrysler

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Google to Build 100 Self-Driving Minivans with Fiat Chrysler

Self Driving Cars

Google and Fiat Chrysler have announced that they have formed a partnership that will bring together Google's self-driving program and Fiat Chrysler's car manufacturing capabilities. The move could accelerate the commercialization of Google's breakthrough technology.

As the world's leading tech companies and automakers continue to develop autonomous driving technology, collaborations between the auto and the tech industry are only going to intensify in the future. Google, the most popular Internet search engine in the world, was the first tech company to test driverless car prototypes, and is now considered the leading self-driving technology developer, with a few key advantages over some global automakers that are also involved in the autonomous car race.

But, the Silicon Valley tech giant has always insisted that it does not plan to manufacture cars, itself, and intends to collaborate with automakers to integrate self-driving technology into existing vehicles, instead. Now, Google has taken a concrete step towards realizing that kind of collaboration, agreeing to a deal with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) involving development of self-driving cars.

First Partnership of Its Kind

In a joint press release, Google and FCA have announced that they have formed a partnership that will aim to bring together Google's self-driving program and Fiat Chrysler's car manufacturing capabilities.

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The companies stated that the collaboration will be centered on integrating self-driving systems developed by the tech company into vehicles built by FCA. According to the deal, Google will provide Fiat Chrysler with both self-driving software and hardware, including sensors, computers, and other equipment.

The systems will be installed onto 100 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans, which will be specifically designed to accommodate Google's technology. Then, Google will conduct tests using the self-driving prototypes, at its private testing ground in California at first, before putting them on public roads.

Google self driving car

"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, 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."

Fiat Chrysler, for its part, on top of noting the obvious safety benefits that autonomous driving technology can bring, sees this deal as a great opportunity to enter the driverless vehicle race and ensure a strong position in the future self-driving car market.

"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, Chief Executive Officer, FCA. "The experience both companies gain will be fundamental to delivering automotive technology solutions that ultimately have far-reaching consumer benefits."

Currently, Google is testing self-driving prototypes on public roads and on private tracks in California, Texas, and Arizona, with its existing fleet having logged in over 1.5 million autonomous miles over the course of the past several years.

This deal will likely prompt other automakers to ramp up their own driverless vehicle research and development efforts, since it clearly shows that Google is one step closer towards the creation of mass-produced fully-autonomous cars, and winning the driverless car race.

By Jordan PerchEmbed

Author Bio - Jordan Perch is an automotive fanatic and “safe driving” specialist. He is a writer for, which is a collaborative community designed to help ease the stress and annoyance of “dealing with the DMV.”


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