The Schwartz Report

Blog archive

Google and Fiat-Chrysler To Build 100 Driverless Minivans

Google and Fiat-Chrysler in the coming months will jointly develop and manufacture 100 driverless cars. The search giant's driverless car technology will be added to 100 Chrysler Pacifica minivans for the 2017 model year. However, if you were looking to buy one, Chrysler parent FCA Group said they're not for sale -- the companies are building the vehicles for test purposes only.

The two companies' engineering teams will work together at a facility in southeastern Michigan. FCA Group said it will initially design and engineer the 100 vehicles to accommodate Google's driverless car technology. Google will integrate the various sensors and CPUs that will let the cars drive autonomously.

While Google has engaged in high profile tests of driverless cars it has built on its own, it's the first time the company collaborated with an outside automaker. "FCA has a nimble and experienced engineering team and the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan is well-suited for Google's self-driving technology," said John Krafcik, CEO of the Google Self-Driving Car Project, in a statement included in FCA's announcement. "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 isn't the only major IT provider working with automakers to develop driverless cars. Volvo tapped Microsoft for its own driverless car effort back in November, though the companies didn't commit to rolling out vehicles in any specific time frame. The Volvo Concept 26 apparently will tap on Microsoft's machine learning technology. Microsoft is also looking at new ways of applying machine learning with embedded solutions with various IoT initiatives. The two companies are using Microsoft's HoloLens enhanced reality 3D headsets together as well. IBM has also demonstrated driverless car technology, most recently at the Detroit Auto Show. Apple is believed to have its own aspirations to offer a driverless car with analysts consistently suggesting the company buy Tesla, an idea most observers have scoffed at. Right now, it looks like Google is in the fast lane.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 05/04/2016 at 11:15 AM


  • Salesforce Buying Slack for $27 Billion To Bolster CRM Solution

    Salesforce on Tuesday announced the purchase of collaboration software-maker Slack for an estimated $27.7 billion.

  • Dark City Illustration

    The Night the Lights Went Out in the Cloud: Lessons from the AWS Outage

    Last week's AWS outage that broke the Internet showed how critical it is to build applications that can withstand transient failure. Here's what you need to know to design a resilient cloud app (and it doesn't involve multicloud).

  • 5 Steps To Fix Windows Indexing Problems

    The Windows indexing feature doesn't always deliver the correct results of a file search. Here are five troubleshooting steps you can take whenever Windows indexing acts up.

  • Microsoft Adding Simpler Microsoft 365 Admin Center Option for Small Businesses

    The Microsoft 365 Admin Center, used for setting up and managing various Microsoft services, is getting a more lightweight interface designed for "very small businesses," according to a Tuesday Microsoft announcement.

comments powered by Disqus