DETROIT – Fiat Chrysler Automobile’s search for new partners may be taking an unexpected turn. After getting rejected by major competitors including General Motors and Ford, FCA Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne already has lined up a fledgling alliance with Google to build 100 autonomous vehicle prototypes. A new report suggests the CEO has launched additional talks with ride-sharing giant Uber, as well as mega-retailer Amazon.com.
The discussions, if true, suggest that Fiat Chrysler, long the high-tech laggard among Detroit’s Big Three automakers, now sees its future dependent upon deals with some of the world’s most technologically sophisticated firms, with an emphasis on non-traditional transportation solutions.
Autonomous driving has become a mantra within the auto industry, virtually every major automaker now promising to launch semi-autonomous technology before the end of the decade, and fully self-driving vehicles soon afterwards. But that push has led to the arrival of some non-traditional players, notably Google which is considered by many experts to have the most advanced autonomous vehicle program, at least for now.
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