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Alphabet's Waymo, Fiat Chrysler Deepen Partnership To Develop Self-Driving Light Commercial Vehicles

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Alphabet's Waymo, Fiat Chrysler Deepen Partnership To Develop Self-Driving Light Commercial Vehicles

Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOGL) (NASDAQ: GOOG)-owned Waymo said Monday that it is expanding its partnership with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (NYSE: FCAU)  and the two have signed an exclusive deal on the development of self-driving vehicles.

What Happened

Fiat Chrysler will work with Waymo on an exclusive basis and has selected the Alphabet subsidiary as its strategic technology partner for L4 fully self-driving technology across its vehicle portfolio.

The partnership will extend to the development and testing of L4 light commercial vehicles used for goods movement. The initial target is the insertion of the Waymo Driver into the Ram ProMaster van. These vans will be used by Waymo Via, the self-driving company’s trucking and delivery service, the companies noted in a statement.

“Our now four-year partnership with Waymo continues to break new ground,” Fiat Chrysler CEO Mike Manley said. “With this next step... we’re turning to the needs of our commercial customers by jointly enabling self-driving for light commercial vehicles, starting with the Ram ProMaster.”

Why It Matters

The cooperation between Waymo and the maker of Ram trucks is likely to continue even after Fiat Chrysler merges with the French PSA Group into a new entity called STELLANTIS, CNBC noted.

Waymo had similarly announced a partnership with Volvo Cars Group last month, centered around self-driving cars for ride-hailing use.

Last year, Fiat Chrysler had announced a partnership with Amazon.com, Inc (NASDAQ: AMZN)-backed Aurora, which also focussed on light commercial vehicles, specifically custom-built Pacifica hybrids still under testing, TechCrunch reported

Aurora is also testing trucks equipped with its FirstLight Lidar technology in Texas along the state’s key logistics delivery corridors.

Price Action

Alphabet Class A and Class C shares were unchanged in the pre-market session Wednesday at $1,555.92 and $1,558.42, respectively. Fiat Chrysler shares traded about 0.1% higher at $10.49.

Photo credit: Ram Trucks

 

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