Sources report that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Google have agreed to jointly develop self-driving vehicles. In the first phase of the non-exclusive agreement, FCA will integrate Google technology in dozens of Pacifica minivan prototypes.
The deal is Google’s first partnership with a major manufacturer since it began independently developing technology for autonomous vehicles in 2014.
For FCA, the agreement is designed to accelerate adoption of self-driving features for its vehicles by partnering with technology leaders rather than competing with them.
FCA chief executive Sergio Marchionne has reportedly been instrumental in negotiating the arrangement. Marchionne has maintained that industry consolidation will help automotive manufacturers reduce duplication of R&D efforts and increase profitability.