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Last Updated Wednesday April 08 2020 08:07 PM IST

Google, Fiat Chrysler team up for self-driving minivans

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Fiat Chrysler Pacifica minivan Fiat Chrysler's deal with Google gives the tech company 100 Pacifica minivans to add to its driverless fleet. AFP

San Francisco: Tech giant Google is reportedly set to sign a deal with Italian-American automaker Fiat Chrysler to develop 100 self-driving cars or minivans to give a push to its driverless car programme.

According to USA Today, the collaboration is a first when Google will share the technology with a major automaker.

Google's existing fleet has some Lexus SUVs modified by the Google team as well as indigenously built two-person prototypes.

"For Google, the deal means it will be able to quickly expand its self-driving car testing programme because it will not have to modify 100 minivans from scratch," the report added.

Till date, Google's driverless cars have logged 1.5 million miles with only one accident.

In March this year, a Google driverless car in autonomous mode was partly at fault in an accident in California where the tests are being conducted.

More and more companies are joining the bandwagon.

Japanese automobile manufacturer Honda Motors is planning to widen its collaboration with the American auto major General Motors (GM) to jointly develop driverless cars.

South Korea's top automaker Hyundai Motors and its affiliate Kia Motors recently announced a plan to develop artificial intelligence (AI)-based, internet-connected car to create a new future lifestyle with a "driving, high-performing computer".

In a six-day trial in Singapore last year, scientists successfully tested self-driving golf carts that ferried 500 tourists around winding paths used by pedestrians and cyclists.

With help from NASA space technology, automaker Nissan recently test-drove its all-electric, driverless car at NASA's Ames Research Centre in California that will help scientists send self-driving vehicles on deeper space missions.

The Nissan "LEAF" vehicle is equipped with cameras, sensors and cellular data networking.

(with agency inputs)

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