It was first reported a few days ago that Google and Fiat Chrysler were talking about a potential partnership on self-driving cars. Another report claimed that the deal would see Google’s self-driving technology being baked into Fiat’s minivans. Turns out, that report was spot on, as Google has just confirmed that it’s expanding its self-driving car program by teaming up with Fiat Chrysler.
Google confirmed that it’s going to more than double the fleet of self-driving cars by adding about 100 new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans, it’s looking to put the first few minivans on the road by the end of this year.
The company itself mentions that this is the first time it has worked directly with an automaker to create self-driving cars. Fiat is going to design the minivans so that it’s easy for Google to install its self-driving systems and software and enable the car to drive on its own.
Google also says that the minivan design gives it the opportunity to test a larger car that could be easier for passengers to enter and exit with features like hands-free sliding doors.
In the coming months, the team is going to collaborate closely with Fiat engineers to better understand how to create a fully autonomous car that can take passengers from one place to another with just one touch of a button.