Google’s autonomous car company strikes deal to buy ‘thousands’ of self-driving minivans from Fiat Chrysler (GOOG)

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne

Google’s self-driving vehicles arm, Waymo, has struck a massive deal with one of Detroit’s biggest car manufacturers, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), to expand its fleet with “thousands” of new self-driving minivans, The Verge first reported.

FCA announced that it will supply Waymo with its Chrysler Pacifica models, which will join Waymo’s existing pool of 600 FCA cars toward the end of the year.

The two companies didn’t disclose the exact number of cars nor the value of the deal, but the Pacifica minivans cost an approximate $40,000 (£28,300) each, which could put the overall deal in the ballpark of $40 million (£28.3 million) before any bulk discount.

The partnership is also not exclusive, as FCA continues to work with BMW, Intel, and Mobileye on a separate deal that involves research and development of self-driving technology; it does, however, show that FCA and Google remain on good terms, and want to cooperate to make autonomous vehicles reliable enough to hit the road as soon as possible.

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