Fiat Chrysler courts Google with self-driving cars deal – USA TODAY

Brent Snavely, Detroit Free Press 11:21 a.m. EDT Might 8, 2016

WINDSOR, Canada —  Fiat Chrysler Automobiles hopes its deal along with Google to construct 100 prototype autonomous minivans will certainly be simply the begin of a much longer partnership that could tips it leapfrog others automakers in the race to self-driving cars.

Fiat Chrysler’s CEO, Sergio Marchionne, acknowledged that the very first deal to produce 100 self-driving Pacifica hybrid minivans is “quite targeted,” and restricted in scope. He said Google, which has actually been creating autonomous auto technology for seven years, has actually a lot more negotiating leverage compared to Fiat Chrysler, or any kind of automaker, due to its profits and market value.

Nevertheless, Marchionne framed the deal along with Google as the start of a partnership that could grow in to a a lot more full-fledged partnership along with the potential of aiding FCA expand its understanding along with autonomous technology.

“We are approaching this in a permanently open-ended fashion,” Marchionne said. “They located it simple to job along with us and to explore and learn. Whether this is sufficient for them to feel comfortable to take the next step is unclear to me.”

Fiat Chrysler announced a deal Tuesday along with the Silicon Valley tech giant’s 7-year-old autonomous Vehicle program. The deal is widely checked out as a coup for the Detroit-location automaker, which is behind competitors as quickly as it pertains to the improvement of crucial technology. It additionally came amid a string of others deals and partnerships recently announced in between Detroit automakers and Silicon Valley tech companies.

Fiat Chrysler said and Google Strategy to co-locate engineering groups at a site in southeastern Michigan and will certainly job from that site to do the design, testing and manufacturing of the self-driving Chrysler Pacifica — giving Fiat Chrysler an opportunity to get insights from Google.

Google moms and dad Alphabet’s market capitalization — the total dollar market value of every one of a company’s impressive shares — is $495 billion compared along with $9.8 billion for Fiat Chrysler.

“We appear to be on the wrong end of the wealth distribution,” Marchionne said. “Some (tech companies) Can easily purchase us from petty cash. And so its practically an unfair fulfill as quickly as they decide to come in and participate along with us.”

Marchionne earned his comments concerning Google shortly prior to he spoke to thousands of workers at Fiat Chrysler’s Windsor Assembly Plant, which is near Detroit, for the launch of the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica, which is on sale now at dealerships.

Marchionne said the fleet of 100 Chrysler Pacifica minivans that it will certainly make for Google will certainly look “physically different” after Google installs its sensors and self-driving technology.

“Take a consider the Google car, then simply imagine that in a minivan, whatever that looks like,” Marchionne said.

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