In an effort to push self-driving vehicle technology, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Google have joined forces to develop cars with autonomous driving technology. This announcement comes after FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne hinted plans of the company and Google collaborating in self-driving technologies back in December.
Google has been testing autonomous driving technologies since 2014 and has run over 2 million kilometers since the start of the program. The internet giant has been approaching automakers for support and has been using Lexus and Toyota vehicles until FCA stepped in.
Instead of competing with companies on the forefront of autonomous driving technology, FCA Chairman said they should work with “new industry participants” to develop the system even further. The joint effort sees a fleet of Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans to be used as test cars for the project. The matchup also sees Google paired with a major automaker for the first time. About 100 cars will be used during the development phase.
Marchionne is urging automotive manufacturers to follow FCA's approach in taking on autonomous driving technology. He said that carmakers actually increase their own costs and waste capital in developing various versions of the same technology. He adds that the industry “should consolidate” to to boost profit.