Economy, Sci & Tech

FCA 1st to Integrate Google’s Self-Drive

FCA 1st to Integrate Google’s Self-DriveFCA 1st to Integrate Google’s Self-Drive

The Google Self-Driving Car Project and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles have announced that they will integrate Google’s self-driving technology into all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans to expand Google’s self-driving test program.

This marks the first time Google has worked directly with an automaker to integrate its self-driving system, including its sensors and software, into a passenger vehicle, according FCA's press release.

The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans will be used later this year for Google’s self-driving testing, more than doubling Google’s current fleet of self-driving test vehicles.  Engineering responsibilities will be shared based on each company’s respective expertise.

FCA will initially design and engineer around 100 vehicles uniquely built for Google’s self-driving technology. Google will integrate the suite of sensors and computers that the vehicles will rely on to navigate roads autonomously.

Both companies will co-locate part of their engineering teams at a facility in southeastern Michigan to accelerate the design, testing and manufacturing of the self-driving Chrysler Pacifica.   

Chief Executive Officer of Google Self-Driving Car Project John Krafcik said FCA has a nimble and experienced engineering team, and the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan is well-suited for Google’s self-driving technology.

“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 said.

The Google Self-Driving Car Project is working to develop fully self-driving vehicles that have the potential to make our roads safer and increase mobility for the millions of people who cannot drive.

Self-driving cars have the potential to prevent some of the 33,000 deaths that occur each year on US roads, 94% of which are caused by human error. This collaboration will help FCA and Google better understand what it will take to bring self-driving cars into the world.

“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.”