Although it was already all but confirmed, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Google today announced they will partner on self-driving cars. Google will equip 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans with its prototype autonomous technology, which will be join the company’s existing fleet of self-driving test cars.
Our colleagues at MOTOR TREND reported on Friday that FCA and Google were close to establishing a tech partnership.
The announcement marks the first time that Google has partnered directly with an automaker to integrate its technology into a regular production car. Chrysler will provide about 100 Pacifica minivans that have been “uniquely built” to accommodate the suite of sensors and computers needed for Google’s self-driving technology. Google and FCA wil “co-locate” a portion of their engineering teams in southeast Michigan to develop the self-driving Pacifica Hybrids.
The companies will split engineering duties based on their talents, which likely means Google will handle the software side while Chrysler will lead modification of the vehicles.
“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,” FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne said in a statement.
Google will test the modified 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrids at its track in California before unleashing them on public roads. The tech giant’s self-driving cars are already accumulating miles on streets in California, Texas, Washington, and Arizona.