FCA, Google partner on driverless minivans

FCA, Google partner on driverless minivans

Companies to integrate autonomous technology into Chrysler Pacifica minivans.

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May 5, 2016
Manufacturing Group

Auburn Hills, Michigan – FCA will integrate Google’s self-driving technology into all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans to expand Google’s self-driving test program. This marks the first time that Google has worked directly with an automaker to integrate its self-driving system, including its sensors and software, into a passenger vehicle.

The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans will be used later this year for Google’s self-driving testing, more than doubling Google’s current fleet of self-driving test vehicles. Engineering responsibilities will be shared based on each company’s respective expertise. FCA will initially design and engineer about 100 vehicles for Google’s self-driving technology. Google will integrate the suite of sensors and computers that the vehicles will rely on to navigate roads autonomously.

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,” says John Krafcik, CEO of 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.”

Self-driving cars have the potential to prevent some of the 33,000 deaths that occur each year on U.S. roads, 94% of which are caused by human error. This collaboration will help FCA and Google better understand what it will take to bring self-driving cars into the world.

Sergio Marchionne, CEO of FCA, says, “The experience both companies gain will be fundamental to delivering automotive technology solutions that ultimately have far-reaching consumer benefits.”

Google’s self-driving cars are currently being tested in four U.S. cities. The self-driving Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans will be tested by Google’s self-driving car team on its private test track in California prior to operating on public roads.

Source: FCA US LLC