Earlier this week, it was revealed Google’s self-driving car was “close to graduation” from Google X, and it sounds like the search giant is ready to move on to the next step. According to a report from CNBC, Google has tapped Fiat Chrysler for a “technical partnership,” the details of which have yet to be revealed.
With a partnership in place, it’s very likely Google will supply the technology with Fiat Chrysler building the fleet of self-driving cars. Whether these cars will be available to purchase by the public is unclear; an earlier report claimed Google would initially focus on deploying cars for ride-hailing services in certain areas around the U.S.
JUST IN: Fiat Chrysler in late stage talks with Alphabet's Google car project for technical partnership – Dow Jones, citing source
— CNBC Now (@CNBCnow) April 28, 2016
Google has been aggressively testing its self-driving fleet around the U.S., recently in the Pacific Northwest to see how the technology responds to inclement weather. Meanwhile, one of the search giant’s vehicles was in a minor fender bender with a bus, but there were no reported injuries at the scene. With its self-driving cars ready to graduate from Google X, however, it appears the company is ready to work toward its next milestone, which is to build an actual lineup of vehicles.
The news comes on the heels of a report that claimed talks broke down between Apple and BMW/Daimler for a similar partnership. However, Apple’s so-called car has still not been officially acknowledged by the Cupertino company, although it is considered an “open secret” by those in Silicon Valley.