Google has no current plans for its partnership with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) to go deeper than building just 100 self-driving Pacifica minivans.
The 100-vehicle deal is the largest to date between a silicon valley giant and traditional automaker, but it seem that Google is still searching for a partner to mass produce its self-driving car.
“This is just FCA and Google building 100 cars together,” John Krafcik, Google’s self-driving car boss told Reuters. “We’re still talking to a lot of different automakers. We’ve been very open about what the technology is and the problem we want to solve together. Solving this problem is going to require a lot of partnership,” said Krafcik.
Google has also said that it won’t share its proprietary self-driving vehicle technology with FCA.
FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne was quoted by Automotive News discussing the “first phase” of the deal after it was signed, sparking rumors that the deal would be deeper than a single phase.
The 100 Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivans will begin testing later this year and will 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.
The vehicles will be designed in a southeastern Michigan facility with Google and FCA engineers overseeing the project.
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