Monday, 30 May 2016

Google to Enter into One-Of-Its-Kind Collaboration with Fiat Chrysler to Build 100 Driverless Cars

Google’s most-sought after search for finding an automaker partner to expand its existing self-driving test program has finally ended. The technology giant’s self-driving technology will be integrated into Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans; the new self-driving cars will not be any car but minivan. Google announced this week that it has inked a deal with the Italian-American car maker Fiat Chrysler to build as many as 100 driverless Pacifica minivans. We will be seeing first ones to hit the road as early as this year end.


The Google Self-Driving Car Project and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) recently announced that they intend to integrate Google's self-driving technology into all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans; the collaboration is considered as first-of-its-kind, since it is the first time Google has worked in direct association with an automobile maker to integrate its self-driving technology—including sensors and software—into the making of a passenger vehicle. Speculations over the concluded deal has already surfaced last month.

The minivans will be used later this year for Google’s self-driving testing. This will more than double current fleet of self-driving test vehicles run by Google, as claimed by the technology company. According to a recent press release, both the companies will co-locate a part of their team engaged in engineering design at a facility in southeastern Michigan.  This will help the companies to expedite the overall design, testing and manufacturing of the automated passenger car. In addition, to accelerate the design, engineering responsibilities will be mutually shared based on each stakeholder’s core expertise.

The collaboration would offer competitive advantage to Fiat Chrysler as its engineers can expand their knowledge and expertise on self-driving vehicle technology. This comes at an opportune time when it is facing stiff competition against stalwarts like General Motors and Volkswagen to stay ahead in autonomous cars segment.

The unique deal is not supposed to be exclusive— both the companies may partner with other industry players. Furthermore, Google will maintain exclusive ownership of the gas-electric hybrid vans.

"FCA has a nimble and experienced engineering team and the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan is well-suited for Google's self-driving technology," asserted John Krafcik, CEO, Google Self-Driving Car Project. "The opportunity to work closely with FCA engineers 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."

Google had earlier been in active negotiations with General Motors; however, the talks didn’t finalize. Other companies in the autonomous car race include Tesla Motors, Apple, Toyota and Ford.

According to a statistic, self-driving cars can prevent some of the 33,000 deaths that occur each year on U.S. roads, 94 % of which are caused by human negligence or error. In addition, it is expected that the driverless car can reduce fuel consumption by as much as 10% and insurance costs by 30%; these factors are expected to foster the market across regions. Over time, many tech and auto companies will reap rich dividends by investing in this disruptive technology; however, as some market experts concur that their gains, will lead to major upheavals in sectors such as insurance, automotive and aftermarket. Keeping a close tab on the emerging trends, Allied Market Research has scheduled to publish a report on “World Driverless Car Market”. The analysis would offer insights into the changing market landscape, profile of key market players, and technological advancements shaping up the competitive landscape across regions.



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