WINDSOR, Ontario — Google’s deal to buy 100 plug-in hybrid minivans from Fiat Chrysler to expand its self-driving vehicle testing program is a “first phase” of the relationship between the two companies, says Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne.
“This first phase of the operation is very targeted,” Marchionne said. “It’s designed to take Google technology into the minivan. It’s very, very focused. There’s a very clear objective and a very clear timeline. What develops from here? We’ll see.”
The joint effort, announced last week by FCA and Google, will transform 100 Chrysler Pacifica plug-in hybrids into autonomous vehicles. The two companies will jointly develop the vehicles, Marchionne said.
The CEO said FCA’s strategy is to keep an open mind about partnerships and not necessarily latch onto to a specific tech company or technology.
Marchionne said: “Making unequivocal bets with companies who are in that space today and effectively precluding the development with others is a very dangerous path, at least in our view.”