Google and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV are inching closer to a deal that could blur the lines between auto manufacturers and tech companies when it comes to self-driving vehicles. The deal could lead to faster commercialization and mass production of such vehicles. It is likely that the partnership between the two organizations could be announced shortly.
Google had earlier ruled out the possibility of manufacturing self-driving vehicles on its own and has been holding discussions with several leading auto manufacturers to finalize an alliance to produce self-driving vehicles. Earlier this week, the Chief Executive of Fiat Chrysler, Sergio Marchionne had revealed that the company was in talks with an advanced tech company, though he declined to pulge further details.
Key officials at other auto manufacturers like Daimler Ag and Ford Motor Co had expressed their wariness at alliances with technology companies like Alphabet as they did not want to take on the role of hardware suppliers while the tech companies realize heavy profits by using the data obtained from the vehicles and their passengers.GM is well on its way to making its own driverless cars by making a move to acquire autonomous vehicle startup Cruise Automation.
Marchionne however, had said several times that he was interested in a partnership with tech companies like Apple or Google. These sentiments were shared by John Krafcik, a former auto executive who currently leads Alphabet’s self-driving car project and had publicly appealed for partners from the auto sector at a conference in Detroit in January.
Alphabet has been using the Lexus RX450h, a hybrid SUV made by Toyota in many of its trials. It is speculated that self-driving vehicles, possibly minivans, might first be used as part of ride-sharing or shuttle fleets.
Manju Mathew, an MBA in marketing, completed publisher training courses from the Oxford Brookes University and New York University. She started with marketing and PR roles before moving on to her current position as a full time writer. Currently living in Dubai, her life as an expat has sharpened her observation skills and flair for writing. She enjoys writing about luxury cars like Ferrari, Lamborghini, etc even if she can only dream of owning them.
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