Google has been testing self-driving vehicles for years now – remember last year when one got a ticket?
However, a business break-through has taken place; as the internet giant have signed a deal with Fiat – the first deal of its kind between Silicon Valley and a car manufacturer.
Google have agreed to buy 100 hybrid minivans from Fiat, to extend its testing program into a new area. It’s a real show of willingness to work together rather than to compete – which should be a welcome message to manufacturers. Indeed, Fiat’s own Chief Exec has gone on record previously to state his worries about the segregation between manufacturers and technology companies.
The two companies together (lets call them Foogle!) will now develop “several dozen self-driving protoypes based on the Pacifica minivan”.
Google’s Head of Self-driving cars, John Krafcik, said, “The opportunity to work closely with [Fiat] engineers will accelerate our efforts to develop a fully self-driving car that will make our roads safer”. He believes that driverless cars could be on sale by 2020.
Are you looking forward to driverless cars? Even if you still have to drive your own car around, why not offer a lift for your next trip?
Author Lex Barber