(TNS) – Google and Fiat Chrysler will partner to test drive the internet giant’s self-driving technology, the companies announced Tuesday.

Calling the joint effort the “first of its kind,” Google and Chrysler will integrate self-driving sensors and software into 100 Chrysler Pacifica hybrid mini-vans.

Google has been searching for a partnership among automakers to pursue the self-driving technology it has been developing over the last seven years. The technology giant has said it does not want to get into the vehicle manufacturing business.




Fiat Chrysler had been seen as a possible Google partner for some time, as its own efforts at autonomous driving technology have lagged behind other big auto industry players.

“[Fiat Chrysler] has a nimble and experienced engineering team, and the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan is well-suited for Google’s self-driving technology,” Google self-driving car project head John Krafcik said.

“The opportunity to work closely with [Fiat Chrysler] engineers will accelerate our efforts to develop a fully self-driving car that will make our roads safer and bring everyday destinations within reach for those who cannot drive.”

The self-driving Pacifica minivans will be built in Michigan and be tested at Google facilities in California.

©2016 Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH (Hamburg, Germany) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.