Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is in early talks to partner with ride-sharing service Uber, according to Bloomberg. Though both companies have declined to comment, Uber and FCA reportedly could announce a partnership by the end of the year.
FCA has already teamed up with Google to develop prototype self-driving versions of the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan, and is committed to working with other companies to further research autonomous technology. Working with Uber could allow the two companies to add driverless cars to Uber’s enormous fleet of vehicles.
That’s the plan for General Motors and rival ride-sharing app Lyft; the pair will debut a trial fleet of self-driving Chevrolet Bolt electric cars that can pick riders up and transport them to their destination autonomously. The Lyft cars will, however, still have a human driver behind the wheel to intervene in case of emergency of malfunction. GM CEO Mary Barra told reporters this week she thinks it’s important autonomous vehicles still have manual controls as a backup.
Whether owned by individuals or as part of ride-sharing services, autonomous cars are set to become big business. IHS Automotive expects that global sales of self-driving cars will hit 600,000 by 2025 and a stunning 21 million by 2035.