These minivans are the first phase of an autonomous vehicle joint project.
Google will soon work with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles on a joint project to create autonomous vehicles, and the first prototypes will be based on the new Chrysler Pacifica minivan. Several dozen self-driving prototypes are expected to be developed in the first phase of this partnership, Bloomberg reports.
This is Google’s first matchup with a major automaker, and the FCA tie-in is no surprise. According to Bloomberg, FCA chairman John Elkann once said the automaker should work with these “new industry participants” instead of competing against them. What’s more, FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne mentioned a possible partnership with Google back in December.
Google began developing its own self-driving prototypes in 2014. With this joint venture, FCA will provide the vehicles, but Google will supply the automaker with valuable technology features that are becoming increasingly important in the car industry.
The official Google/FCA agreement is expected to be signed this week.