Self-Driving Cars might hit the road closer than we think. Self-driving cars have been found to have more cons than pros currently. That’s a reason why two giants in their respective industries are partnering up to collaborate on creating self-driving minivans.
Google and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles are going to work together to build and then test about 100 Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivans. Google has been working on an autonomous car since 2009, but this will be the first time Google is working with an automaker. They could be on the road as early as the end of 2016.
In a statement from Google, “FCA will design the minivans so it’s easy for us to install our self-driving systems, including the computers that hold our self-driving software and the sensors that enable our software to see what’s on the road around the vehicle. The minivan design also gives us an opportunity to test a larger vehicle that could be easier for passengers to enter and exit, particularly with features like hands-free sliding doors.” This is important because FCA and Google both want to produce a self-driving car that requires no human intervention from beginning to end of a journey.
The FCA’s Pacifica minivan hybrid is brand new and only the non-hybrid has been released for the public to buy. By adding these 100 minivans to Google’s fleet, they will be more than doubling the amount of autonomous cars Google is testing. The self-driving minivans will be tested on a private track before it is able to be tasted on public roads.
Google and FCA decided to work together because John Krafcik, the CEO of Google’s self-driving project feels that, “FCA has a nimble and experienced engineering team, the opportunity to work closely with FCA engineers will accelerate our efforts to develop a fully self-driving car that will make our roads safer and everyday destinations within reach for those who cannot drive.”
Google also said that just because they have partnered with FCA, it doesn’t mean that future partnerships with other automakers are out of the question. Google realizes that they are not a car manufacturer and to build the best autonomous cars they want the strongest partners possible.
What do you think about self-driving cars? Is it a good idea or do you think technology should be further advanced before self-driving cars are on the road?