Autonomous car

Google Self Driving Car News: Partners with Fiat Chrysler

The development of Google’s self-driving cars are going strong. Recently, Google and Fiat Chrysler signed an agreement to push forward with this program using the latter’s Pacifica Hybrid minivan as the base for 100 prototypes. According to Bloomberg, this is not an exclusive contract as they received from a source that both companies are free to work with other driverless technology collaborators.

According to Bertel King, Jr. of Android Police, Google’s self-driving cars have been spotted in several cities in the past months – Kirkland, Arizona, Washington and Phoenix. These tests used the Lexus RX450h SUVs. Now, with a new model, Google can only not experiment with a hybrid vehicle but also a roomy one.

The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is an eight-passenger minivan that will have hands-free sliding doors – just outsourcing more dirty work to the machines while keeping it within the self-driving theme pretty well. This has many practical implications. This could help people, especially those with disabilities, enter and exit vehicles.

Maryann Keller, an independent consultant in Connecticut, via Bloomberg analyzed that this partnership makes sense for both companies. Google can test is autonomous technology without investing in creating their own cars for testing. Fiat Chrysler is also offered an entry to this new technology.

This deal involves the preparing of 100 vehicles by Fiat Chrysler specifically to be fitted with Google’s sensor suite. Techcrunch reported that for the time being, testing will be limited on Google’s California test track.

Safety has always been a concern and will always be a concern. The technology is quite new and is still in its testing phase. But driverless car enthusiasts and companies are optimistic. In a ZDNet report, Volvo president and chief executive Håkan Samuelsson was quoted that this is the most important advance in automotive safety. In the same article, it has been said that a research by Swiss Re and Here suggests that this will reduce accidents by 80 percent.

This, though, is still in the near future as the confidence of the public took a small hit as a it was reported that Google cars have been involved in nearly a dozen collisions. Even though these were minor and nobody was injured, these are not too good of a news.

Whether we may like driving with driverless vehicles on the road or not, we can be fairly confident that more of them will pop up in the future.


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