The deal between the tech giant and the automaker is limited to 100 self-driving Pacificas.
Just because Google and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will build 100 autonomous Pacificas together won’t guarantee long-term cooperation between them. According to John Krafcik, the tech giant’s self-driving car boss and former Hyundai Motor America CEO, the company is already meeting with other automakers about creating partnerships.
“This is just FCA and Google building 100 cars together," Krafcik told Reuters about the current agreement. "We're still talking to a lot of different automakers.”
The deal between Google and FCA will keep the two companies doing separate jobs. The automaker will build the vehicles in Michigan, and it will hand them off to the tech company to install the necessary sensors and equipment. Google will also eventually test the autonomous minivans on public roads.
Rumors have hinted at more potential partners for Google. For example, a report in December 2015 suggested the tech company had a deal with Ford to build autonomous cars. However, neither side ever made an official announcement about the cooperation.
Krafcik announced Google has now completed 1.5 million miles of autonomous vehicle testing. "We have a responsibility to get this out there as soon as we can and really as soon as we have data that says we're better than the current system of flawed human drivers," he said, according to Reuters. The company apparently doesn't have that confidence yet because a recent job listing shows the firm hiring people to ride in its self-driving cars and report back to engineers.