Seven years and reams of speculation later, Google’s self-driving car unit is finally partnering with an automaker. Just for a test, though.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced on Wednesday that it plans to produce 100 minivans next year with autonomous driving tech from Google’s unit, housed under parent Alphabet. The vehicles will join Google’s existing fleet of 70 test cars — Lexus SUVs and its tiny handmade ones. “The minivan design also gives us an opportunity to test a larger vehicle that could be easier for passengers to enter and exit, particularly with features like hands-free sliding doors,” Google’s team explained in a (rather dry) statement.
For now, that team is under Alphabet’s X research lab. But its chief, Astro Teller, recently said it was in the “gradual process” of becoming its own standalone company. Fiat’s stock bumped up 2.39 percent after the announcement. Read more….
- Google and Fiat/Chrysler join forces in autonomous driving.