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Big-three carmaker Chrysler joins forces with Google.


Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in Detroit has agreed to help Google build its next driverless cars, based on the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan.

FCA and Google’s Self-Driving Car Project will collaborate by fitting a fleet of around 100 people movers with the autonomous technology from the current and future driverless car prototypes. Chrysler engineers will also work alongside Google’s to slipstream the transition to human-free motoring. The Chrysler vehicles contribution has doubled Google’s capacity to test and gather data from its current generation of bubble cars.

“The opportunity to work closely with FCA engineers,” said John Krafcik, Google Self-Driving Car Project CEO, “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.”

FCA boss Sergio Marchionne says partnering with the tech giant has big benefits for the auto industry.

“Working with Google provides an opportunity for FCA to partner with one of the world’s leading technology companies to accelerate the pace of innovation in the automotive industry,”Marchionne said. “The experience both companies gain will be fundamental to delivering automotive technology solutions that ultimately have far-reaching consumer benefits.”

Google says the ultimate aim is to drive from A to B with the push of a button while helping prevent some of the 33,000 road deaths. To date the Google self-driving car project is seven years along and has clocked over 1.5 million miles of testing across California, Texas, Washington and Arizona in the US.

Photo: Marc van der Chijs. Flickr