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Strange Bedfellows or: How Sergio Got His Way and Created a Fleet of Robot Pacificas

2017 Chrysler Pacifica Exterior Front 3/4. Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

A dream collaboration has finally become a reality for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne.

After angling for a partnership for over a year, FCA has introduced a joint venture with Google’s Self-Driving Car Task. This is the first time the actual mega company did directly with an car maker to test its shadowy independent vehicle technology.

The project will see Google function its sensor-and software magic on a fleet of about 100 purpose-built?2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrids, along with engineering teams from both companies operating alongside each other within southeast Michigan.

Working the bugs on a number of ghost minivans should give the teams a greater understanding of the challenges that need conquering before the technology becomes mainstream. Google currently has pilot projects ongoing in four U.S. cities.

“The experience both businesses gain will be fundamental to delivering automotive technology solutions which ultimately have far-reaching consumer benefits,” said Marchionne inside a statement.

Before the pilotless soccer team movers roll out throughout Michigan, they’ll first be tested upon Google’s private California test track. The Pacificas will more than double the amount vehicles Google has to work with.

Marchionne’s excitement for other people’utes cutting-edge technology is well known. At the Geneva Motor Show within March, he shined up poetic about a desire partnership with his beloved Apple.

That didn’t come to pass, but the Google fling gives FCA big boasting rights in the self-driving game. The company doesn’t have the bank balance required to snatch up startups in California (like its competitors), therefore a partnership is better than buying a seat while dining with money it doesn’t have.

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