Alphabet Inc’s Google unit and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles have agreed to partner up to build a fleet of 100 self-driving minivans in the most advanced collaboration to date between Silicon Valley and a traditional carmaker, the companies said Tuesday.
The deal marks the first time that Google has worked directly with an automaker “to integrate its self-driving system, including its sensors and software, into a passenger vehicle,” the companies said in a statement on Tuesday.
Google and Fiat Chrysler engineers will work together to fit Google’s autonomous driving technology into the Pacifica minivan. Some engineers for both companies will work together at a facility in Southeast Michigan, where Fiat Chrysler has its major North American engineering center, the companies said.
Google said it is not sharing proprietary self-driving vehicle technology with Fiat Chrysler, however, and the vehicles will not be offered for sale to the public.
The agreement between Google and Fiat Chrysler comes as rival technology and auto companies are accelerating efforts to master the complex hardware and artificial intelligence systems required to allow vehicles to pilot themselves.