Fiat Chrysler, Google partnering on self-driving prototypes based on Pacifica minivan

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Google and Fiat Chrysler are on the verge of signing their rumored partnership on self-driving technology, which should begin with several dozen Pacifica minivans being equipped as prototypes, a report said on Tuesday.




A deal could be signed as soon as today, sources informed Bloomberg. The vans should be deployed starting later this year as part of the first phase of the companies' broader project.

Notably, both companies will allegedly be free to cooperate with other firms on self-driving systems. For Fiat Chrysler, though, the deal may be an essential step in kickstarting its self-driving efforts.

In April, Fiat Chrysler chairman John Elkann suggested that his company should cooperate with businesses like Apple and Google, rather than try to compete. Google has reportedly been in talks with several automakers, though a deal with GM is said to have collapsed due to disputes over data and technology ownership.

It's unclear whether Google will ever sell a branded car, instead of just sharing its self-driving platform with others. Even if it did design its own vehicle, it would have to partner with other companies on manufacturing.

Apple is believed to be developing self-driving technology, but most likely for use in its own electric car. That product could roll out as soon as 2019 or 2020, but might initially lack self-driving options, and would still have to be manufactured by a third party short of massive investments in infrastructure and letting the secret out early.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 33
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,708member
    I can't see this as this being marketed as a "Google Car", but rather a self-driving Minivan with Google Technology in it. 

    I'm still not fully convinced Apple is making its own car, but rather just making software for a car and they're looking for a partner to put their software into. Its VERY expensive to create and manufacture your own car. They'd be better off just partnering with someone to use their technology. 
  • Reply 2 of 33
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,428member
    Chryslers will be great for prototyping. If one crashes, no one will care.
    levirob53schlacklolliver
  • Reply 3 of 33
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,805member
    macxpress said:
    I can't see this as this being marketed as a "Google Car", but rather a self-driving Minivan with Google Technology in it. 

    I'm still not fully convinced Apple is making its own car, but rather just making software for a car and they're looking for a partner to put their software into. Its VERY expensive to create and manufacture your own car. They'd be better off just partnering with someone to use their technology. 
    I doubt the Pacifica is anything intended for consumers to buy. My guess is a van is more appropriate for the extensive testing/monitoring equipment that would be part of prototyping. If /when anything comes to market I'd expect it to be something relatively compact, maybe even intended for an on-call Uber-like service rather than Joe and Minnie's personal use.

    EDIT: And my guess could be completely wrong too. I'm now reading other sources that say Google's autonomous system may be on the road in a Pacifica near you within a year. Count me surprised if it happens. 
    edited May 2016
  • Reply 4 of 33
    dick applebaumdick applebaum Posts: 12,505member

    Baccaruda !

    edited May 2016 pscooter63
  • Reply 5 of 33
    Reminds me of a cell phone named RokR with Apple software on it. Gave Apple a chance to test out the idea of iTunes and popularity, while also delaying Motorola from developing it's own MP3 player... and then WHAM, Apple came out with a device of it's own and smashed it all. All this is doing is giving Google a chance to test out their product without having to manufacture the entire car, while it develops and tests the next big thing.
  • Reply 6 of 33
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 3,750member
    macxpress said:
    I can't see this as this being marketed as a "Google Car", but rather a self-driving Minivan with Google Technology in it. 

    I'm still not fully convinced Apple is making its own car, but rather just making software for a car and they're looking for a partner to put their software into. Its VERY expensive to create and manufacture your own car. They'd be better off just partnering with someone to use their technology. 
    Thing is Apple is much better at hardware than they are at software. And their strength is supply chain. I'm very skeptical that any manufacturer would partner with Apple on car software. In order for it to be a money maker for Apple they'd need to be in a lot of different cars and I doubt BMW and Ford would agree to share the same software tech in their vehicles. 
    ireland
  • Reply 7 of 33
    tzeshantzeshan Posts: 1,855member
    macxpress said:
    I can't see this as this being marketed as a "Google Car", but rather a self-driving Minivan with Google Technology in it. 

    I'm still not fully convinced Apple is making its own car, but rather just making software for a car and they're looking for a partner to put their software into. Its VERY expensive to create and manufacture your own car. They'd be better off just partnering with someone to use their technology. 
    Thing is Apple is much better at hardware than they are at software. And their strength is supply chain. I'm very skeptical that any manufacturer would partner with Apple on car software. In order for it to be a money maker for Apple they'd need to be in a lot of different cars and I doubt BMW and Ford would agree to share the same software tech in their vehicles. 
    Do you know hardware of making car is completely different from making iPhone? 
  • Reply 8 of 33
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,708member

    gatorguy said:
    macxpress said:
    I can't see this as this being marketed as a "Google Car", but rather a self-driving Minivan with Google Technology in it. 

    I'm still not fully convinced Apple is making its own car, but rather just making software for a car and they're looking for a partner to put their software into. Its VERY expensive to create and manufacture your own car. They'd be better off just partnering with someone to use their technology. 
    I doubt the Pacifica is anything intended for consumers to buy. My guess is a van is more appropriate for the extensive testing/monitoring equipment that would be part of prototyping. If /when anything comes to market I'd expect it to be something relatively compact, maybe even intended for an on-call Uber-like service rather than Joe and Minnie's personal use.

    EDIT: And my guess could be completely wrong too. I'm now reading other sources that say Google's autonomous system may be on the road in a Pacifica near you within a year. Count me surprised if it happens. 
    Why wouldn't an everyday consumer want one? Thats like saying a Tesla isn't for the general public. 
  • Reply 9 of 33
    jdunysjdunys Posts: 18member
    tzeshan said:
    Thing is Apple is much better at hardware than they are at software. And their strength is supply chain. I'm very skeptical that any manufacturer would partner with Apple on car software. In order for it to be a money maker for Apple they'd need to be in a lot of different cars and I doubt BMW and Ford would agree to share the same software tech in their vehicles. 
    Do you know hardware of making car is completely different from making iPhone? 
    Isn't it what they said before the iPhone came out? Isn't it what they said before the watch came out?

    Techonology is technology is technology. If Tesla can do it...
    lolliver
  • Reply 10 of 33
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,708member
    cpsro said:
    Chryslers will be great for prototyping. If one crashes, no one will care.

    Thanks! I happen to drive one...Nice little car actually! 

    tzeshan said:
    Thing is Apple is much better at hardware than they are at software. And their strength is supply chain. I'm very skeptical that any manufacturer would partner with Apple on car software. In order for it to be a money maker for Apple they'd need to be in a lot of different cars and I doubt BMW and Ford would agree to share the same software tech in their vehicles. 
    Do you know hardware of making car is completely different from making iPhone? 

    Its also extremely expensive and there's more issues (especially when it comes to safety) vs any Apple product currently in the line up. 
  • Reply 11 of 33
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,805member
    macxpress said:

    gatorguy said:
    macxpress said:
    I can't see this as this being marketed as a "Google Car", but rather a self-driving Minivan with Google Technology in it. 

    I'm still not fully convinced Apple is making its own car, but rather just making software for a car and they're looking for a partner to put their software into. Its VERY expensive to create and manufacture your own car. They'd be better off just partnering with someone to use their technology. 
    I doubt the Pacifica is anything intended for consumers to buy. My guess is a van is more appropriate for the extensive testing/monitoring equipment that would be part of prototyping. If /when anything comes to market I'd expect it to be something relatively compact, maybe even intended for an on-call Uber-like service rather than Joe and Minnie's personal use.

    EDIT: And my guess could be completely wrong too. I'm now reading other sources that say Google's autonomous system may be on the road in a Pacifica near you within a year. Count me surprised if it happens. 
    Why wouldn't an everyday consumer want one? Thats like saying a Tesla isn't for the general public. 
    I didn't say an everyday driver wouldn't want one, just that my guess would be an on-demand service as the target.
    lolliver
  • Reply 12 of 33
    ronmgronmg Posts: 163member
    tzeshan said:
    Thing is Apple is much better at hardware than they are at software. And their strength is supply chain. I'm very skeptical that any manufacturer would partner with Apple on car software. In order for it to be a money maker for Apple they'd need to be in a lot of different cars and I doubt BMW and Ford would agree to share the same software tech in their vehicles. 
    Do you know hardware of making car is completely different from making iPhone? 
    So closed minded. Think of the metallurgy Apple has done. Anodized aluminum - a custom-designed alloy that is 60% stronger than normal alloys but just as light. They have customized stainless steel as well, with alloying and processing steps to make it stronger. Cold-forging processing. 12-station milling machine to polish and add a diamond-like carbon layer to make the black Watch. And that's nothing compared to what they are doing with gold, adding silver, copper, and palladium in the alloy, as well as ceramic powder to make it more durable than normal gold. And, each gold watch is milled out of a solid gold bar. OK, Apple won't make a gold Car (or would they???) but Apple has a TON of expertise that could be used in making the car body, as well as the frame, suspension, wheels, etc. Probably light-years ahead of the dinosaur car companies that crank out the same steel frames, year after year...
    lolliverbadmonk
  • Reply 13 of 33
    ronmgronmg Posts: 163member
    macxpress said:
    cpsro said:
    Chryslers will be great for prototyping. If one crashes, no one will care.

    Thanks! I happen to drive one...Nice little car actually! 


    Its also extremely expensive and there's more issues (especially when it comes to safety) vs any Apple product currently in the line up. 
    Apple is better funded than Tesla, and Tesla has handled the safety issues very well - they are the safest cars out there. Try again!!
    lolliver
  • Reply 14 of 33
    rob53rob53 Posts: 1,974member
    macxpress said:

    gatorguy said:
    I doubt the Pacifica is anything intended for consumers to buy. My guess is a van is more appropriate for the extensive testing/monitoring equipment that would be part of prototyping. If /when anything comes to market I'd expect it to be something relatively compact, maybe even intended for an on-call Uber-like service rather than Joe and Minnie's personal use.

    EDIT: And my guess could be completely wrong too. I'm now reading other sources that say Google's autonomous system may be on the road in a Pacifica near you within a year. Count me surprised if it happens. 
    Why wouldn't an everyday consumer want one? Thats like saying a Tesla isn't for the general public. 
    I for one will never trust a self-driving vehicle unless it runs on rails. I trust myself driving whenever and wherever I feel it's safe to drive. The only time a self-driving vehicle will work is when all vehicles are self-driving and they're limited to special roads but then you might as well take the train. There are much more important things to design in this world than self-driving cars. These are for Disneyland.

    Go ahead and flame me but let's get real. There's already been a low speed crash, what happens when there's a high speed crash where people die. Who's going to be responsible? No fault insurance? Give me a break, the courts will go after the manufacturer because the idiot behind the wheel is a computer. Talk about lots of new legislation the courts and government have no clue about ....
  • Reply 15 of 33
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,708member
    ronmg said:
    macxpress said:

    Thanks! I happen to drive one...Nice little car actually! 


    Its also extremely expensive and there's more issues (especially when it comes to safety) vs any Apple product currently in the line up. 
    Apple is better funded than Tesla, and Tesla has handled the safety issues very well - they are the safest cars out there. Try again!!
    All the money in the world doesn't mean anything. Its about the talent and software/hardware you develop. Just because one company has more or less money makes no difference at all. Try again!!!
  • Reply 16 of 33
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,708member

    rob53 said:
    macxpress said:

    Why wouldn't an everyday consumer want one? Thats like saying a Tesla isn't for the general public. 
    I for one will never trust a self-driving vehicle unless it runs on rails. I trust myself driving whenever and wherever I feel it's safe to drive. The only time a self-driving vehicle will work is when all vehicles are self-driving and they're limited to special roads but then you might as well take the train. There are much more important things to design in this world than self-driving cars. These are for Disneyland.

    Go ahead and flame me but let's get real. There's already been a low speed crash, what happens when there's a high speed crash where people die. Who's going to be responsible? No fault insurance? Give me a break, the courts will go after the manufacturer because the idiot behind the wheel is a computer. Talk about lots of new legislation the courts and government have no clue about ....
    I get you, but everything in time. Maybe this will change your mind...sure, its not totally fool proof, but neither is a human driver. I fully believe self-driving cars will dramatically reduce the number of accidents. I do think you'll have to earn the trust of the vehicle. 

    https://youtu.be/UNAa5-uCowY?t=12m11s
    edited May 2016 lolliver
  • Reply 17 of 33
    schlackschlack Posts: 679member
    Apple is almost better off buying a company like Volvo and using their manufacturing and development resources to push out a car, while using their dealerships to service it. they can keep building the very good existing Volvo models but release "Apple" branded cars in parallel in the near term. Volvo would be a very cheap buy for Apple at current valuations of $20B. 

    Edit: Oops, Volvo is $200B, but still...could happen.
    edited May 2016
  • Reply 18 of 33
    sandorsandor Posts: 493member
    I will take a self-driving car when i can get a manual tranny in it. with a clutch :smiley:

    Honestly, i ride my bicycle or walk to work, never drive on my commute & rarely drive otherwise.
    But i love driving.
    Yes, i am one of the dwindling people who really only drives for the pure pleasure of it.

  • Reply 19 of 33
    irelandireland Posts: 17,521member
    macxpress said:

    I'm still not fully convinced Apple is making its own car, but rather just making software for a car and they're looking for a partner to put their software into. Its VERY expensive to create and manufacture your own car.
    Yeah if only Apple has some money set aside for such occasions. Ah, well.
    lolliver
  • Reply 20 of 33
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    Wow, that's a staid butt ugly car.
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