Google has reached a deal with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to put its self-driving technology into 100 Pacifica minivans. The vans will move forward Google’s year-old self-driving car program.
Google will be able to quickly expand its program because it won’t have to modify 100 minivans from scratch. Instead, it will take delivery of a fleet of 2017 Pacificas that have been altered to accommodate the array of on-board radar, laser-radar and cameras that allow cars to drive themselves.
The partnership is the first time Google’s team will be sharing with a major automaker information on how to integrate some of its secretive self-driving-car technology. To date, Google staffers have modified a few dozen Lexus SUVs and have also built a few small vehicles in-house.
As yet, neither company has forwarded a plan to put the self-driving technology into new Chrysler vehicles.