Friday 6 May 2016

Google, Fiat Chrysler Working on Self Driving car Deal

self driving

Google & Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV – Developing Self-Driving Cars

Google together with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV are almost on the point of agreeing on a partnership which could break barriers between Silicon Valley and the auto industry in competition of developing self-driving cars, according to sources familiar with the discussion. The announcement of the partnership deal would be out soon as disclosed to Reuters on condition of anonymity by three people familiar with the situation, since the discussions seemed to be private.

The talks at first were reported on Thursday by blog Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc. as well as Fiat Chrysler, refrained from commenting on this issue. Google has stated that it does not desire to build self-driving vehicles on its own and has explored deals with auto companies though none have been confirmed. Sergio Marchionne, Fiat Chrysler Chief Executive stated recently that the company was in talks with an advanced technology company, though had not offered any details. The executives at the other auto makers, together with Ford Motor Co, General Motors Co and Daimler AG, have shown wariness regarding alliances with Alphabet or other technology companies which could demote them to the role of hardware suppliers.

Marchionne Interested in Partnership with Google/Apple

Auto executive had informed that they do not want to stand by while Alphabet gains richer profits from the data created by vehicles and their passengers. GM has indicated that it intends to go its own way on driverless car technology, going ahead in buying self-driving vehicle start-up, Cruise Automation. After Fiat Chrysler had issued quarterly earnings on Tuesday on a conference call, Marchionne had repeated that he was interested in partnerships with Google or Apple Inc. Marchionne had stated in response to a question regarding working with non-traditional automakers that `dialogue continues with people who are interested in exploring their relevance in the automotive world and would continue to help them find their way out’. A former auto executive, John Krafcik, who tends to head Alphabets’ self-driving car project, at a conference in Detroit in January, had made a public pitch for partners. Fiat Chrysler officials in Michigan as well as Italy had refrained to comment on assumption that the technology of Google would ultimately be offered on the new Chrysler Pacifica minivan launched in February.

Self-Driving Vehicles, Minivans – Ride Sharing/Shuttle Fleets

Marchionne together with the other FCA officials are scheduled to visit the Windsor, Ontario plant which builds the Pacifica on May 6. The auto as well as the technology industry executive had stated that the self-driving vehicles, probably the minivans would hit the roads first in ride-sharing or shuttle fleets. Among the models which Alphabet has been utilising in its self-driving project, is the Lexus RX450h, which is a hybrid sport utility vehicle, manufactured by Toyota Motor Corpn. Alphabet intends to have the first driverless minivans on the road by this end of this year but has not commented on a timeline for all 100 vehicles. On increasing the test fleet, the agreement would be helpful to Alphabet’s mission to automate the world’s vehicles. Its present fleet of 70 self-driving cars has driven over 1.5 million miles in California, Washington, Texas and Arizona.

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