Google's autonomous car company strikes deal to buy 'thousands' of self-driving minivans from Fiat Chrysler

Bill Pugliano/Getty ImagesFCA CEO Sergio Marchionne.
  • Waymo, the Google subsidiary that focuses on autonomous vehicles, has struck a deal to buy “thousands” of minivans from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA).
  • Waymo already uses cars from FCA, but this increase is going to massively juice up its current fleet.
  • The two firms, in what is a non-exclusive deal, have not disclosed the exact number of cars being bought, nor the definitive price of the operation.

Google’s self-driving vehicles arm, Waymo, has struck a massive deal with one of Detroit’s biggest car manufacturers, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), to expand its fleet with “thousands” of new self-driving minivans, The Verge first reported.

FCA announced that it will supply Waymo with its Chrysler Pacifica models, which will join Waymo’s existing pool of 600 FCA cars toward the end of the year.

The two companies didn’t disclose the exact number of cars nor the value of the deal, but the Pacifica minivans cost an approximate $US40,000 (£28,300) each, which could put the overall deal in the ballpark of $US40 million (£28.3 million) before any bulk discount.

The partnership is also not exclusive, as FCA continues to work with BMW, Intel, and Mobileye on a separate deal that involves research and development of self-driving technology; it does, however, show that FCA and Google remain on good terms, and want to cooperate to make autonomous vehicles reliable enough to hit the road as soon as possible.

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