Google Partners with FCA for Autonomous Vehicle
May 4, 2016—Google and FCA announced Tuesday that they have entered into a collaboration to integrate Google’s autonomous technology into the all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans, expanding the tech company’s autonomous program.
"FCA has a nimble and experienced engineering team and the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan is well-suited for Google's self-driving technology," John Krafcik, chief executive officer of Google’s Self-Driving Car Project, said. "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."
The partnership marks the first time Google has worked directly with an automaker on the autonomous system. The Chrysler Pacifica minivans to be used in the test will more than double Google’s autonomous fleet. The companies will co-locate their engineer teams in southeastern Michigan to speed up the engineering and design. Google currently tests its autonomous vehicles in four U.S. cities, while testing of the autonomous Pacificas will take place on Google’s private test track in California before being brought out on public roads.
Each company will focus its engineers on their own expertise. FCA will build around 100 vehicles tailored for Google’s autonomous technology, and Google will integrate its technology into 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," Sergio Marchionne, CEO of FCA, said. "The experience both companies gain will be fundamental to delivering automotive technology solutions that ultimately have far-reaching consumer benefits."
The companies’ ultimate goal is to help reduce the 33,000 deaths that occur each year on U.S. roads, 94 percent of which are caused by human error.