This is the first time when an automaker is involved in a project like that, when Alphabet have decided to join forces with Fiat Chrysler, in order to boost their Google Self-Driving Car project. The deal was announced on Tuesday. The goal is to almost double the production of the self-driving machines when 100 new Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivans will appear in 2017. Alphabet’s subsidiary wants first self-driving vehicles to hit the road by the end of this year.
Car automaker has tried several times to build self-driving machines of their own. And it looked like the tech companies would challenge them in that field. So the collaboration between the two, in a form of FCA and Google working together, is first of a kind. However, financial details were not disclosed, and it is not specified, whether it’s a long-term partnership.
The companies will share its area of expertise, with Fiat Chrysler engineering the minivans, and Google providing the self-driving systems, software, computers, etc. Now, the cars will be specifically designed to be more convenient to install the systems. And it is the first time when Google will try their software on such big cars. So maybe additional gimmicks, like hands-free sliding doors will be introduced as well. The collaboration will take place in southeastern Michigan.
Self-driving Car tested on Private Test Track in California
The goal is to make driving safer and more accessible to everyone, as Google said in a blog post. The self-driving vehicle will be tested on a private test track in California first, before hitting the public roads. Now, Google cars have driven more than 1.5 million miles on their own, in four U.S. cities: Austin in Texas, Mountain View in California, Phoenix in Arizona and Kirkland in Washington.