Chrysler Pacifica Could Be First Self-Driving Minivan [News]

2017 Chrysler Pacifica

According to a Bloomberg report, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles North America (FCA) and Google may soon start their first phase of development to create autonomous vehicles using the Chrysler Pacifica as a self-driving prototype.

An agreement between the search engine giant and international automaker could be signed as early as today. Google and FCA decline to comment until a formal agreement is in place. Sources close to the matter mentioned that FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne has been directly involved in discussions with Google.

At the North American International Auto Show, Marchionne confirmed the company had “continuing conversations going on in Silicon Valley” when asked about Google and Apple. Google has stated multiple times it does not want to become a car manufacturer, making a deal with an existing automaker fundamental.

Currently, Google’s self-driving fleet includes several RX 450h crossovers, Toyota Priuses, and tiny two-seater cars designed in-house. The Pacifica would be the company’s largest self-driving vehicle and able to seat up to seven passengers.

FCA plans to install Google’s autonomous driving system starting this year, according to the same report by Bloomberg. This would mark Google’s first deal with a major automaker since it began developing self-driving cars in 2014. The deal benefits Fiat Chrysler with a means of getting a jumpstart the fast-developing technology of autonomous driving.