FCA and Google have teamed up to expand the tech giant’s self-driving car program.
Up until now, Google has mostly used Toyota and Lexus models for its self-driving car prototypes, but soon we will be seeing the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivan sporting Google’s gear. The automaker announced that the first-of-its-kind collaboration and will be integrating all of Google’s self-driving technology into its all-new minivan. This marks the first time Google has worked directly with an automaker with its own self-driving system, including sensors and software that already come with the car from the factory.
According to FCA, the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivan will be used later this year for Google’s self-driving tests and will more than double Google’s current fleet of test vehicles. FCA will initially design and engineer around 100 vehicles uniquely built for Google, while Google will integrate the suite of sensors and computers that each vehicle needs to reliably navigate roadways autonomously.
As a result of the partnership, 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.
“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.”
Discuss this story on our Chrysler Minivan Forum