Earlier this week, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and Google announced that they would be working together and putting Google's self-driving tech into the company's upcoming Pacifica minivan. The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica is due to be available later this year, and Google will be using 100 of them to continue testing their self-driving car technology. It will be a first for Google on a few fronts. First of all, it'll be the first time they have tested the technology in a car built by an actual auto-maker. Secondly, it'll be the largest vehicle that they have ever used for autonomous technology. As they typically use a pretty small car which they built for this purpose.
Since this announcement, FCA's Chief Executive, Sergio Marchionne has been fielding a lot of questions. On Friday, during a news conference at the company's plant in Windsor, Ontario he stated that the two company's have not yet decided who will own the data that is collected during this partnership. Stating that this has not been determined yet and that they "need to get a stage where the car is viable so we can discuss the spoils of that work. We're not there." Marchionne went on to say that there are still many parts of this collaboration that have yet to be determined. One example that Marchionne gave is whether they would open-source the software platform, so that the data could be shared with other companies – in particular, Chrysler's competitors. The collaboration is said to be in various phases, and the first phase is to put Google's technology into the vehicle, and then go from there.
While many got excited about seeing FCA partner up with Google for their self-driving car, it's not quite what many had thought originally. Google isn't partnering with Chrysler to get autonomous 2017 Pacifica's onto the road and into dealerships to be sold, but more so that Google can test out their tech inside a minivan. Which they have yet to do, up until now. Google has been linked to working with General Motors and Ford as well, to do the same thing. So we may see some Ford trucks come into Google's self-driving fleet in the near future.