Fiat Chrysler just announced their deal with Google (Alphabet) to double the size of the tech giant’s fleet of driver less cars. Fiat is expected to provide 100 Chrysler Pacifica vans and also provide engineers to help develop the technology. The company described the deal as the most powerful partnership to take place between the Silicon Valley and any traditional automaker to date.
Googles ambition is that it aims to add more cars to the fleet, thus increasing the amount of road testing it can do. The chief exec at Fiat in the past has raised their concern around the tech industries impact on the car makers.
Sergio Machionne thinks that the partnership with tech are just sloppy and questions the caliber of vehicle they would actually be able to produce coming from such polar opposites. Not to mention the internal problems Chrysler is having.
Google thinks that it will have driver-less cars ready come 2020. “Minivans fit into the transportation fleets easily” They can be a box on wheels and can move more humans around.”
This is a very amazing time frame once you put into perspective. We still need to play catch up in so many ways when it comes to the laws and regulations surrounding this, but what we do know is that it is coming. Not only is it coming but people with big money interests want it to happen, and are going to lobby extremely hard to make sure that it does.
This announcement between the partnership came a week after Astro Teller, who is head of moon shots at Google said the driver-less cars project may soon move from under the umbrella of the Google X division that focuses on futuristic innovations and projects. They have already driven many miles with their driver less technology and have not had hardly any problems.
One thing that remains largely unknown is who is going to service these cars. The skill set required to work on cars and cars knowledge of how they are put together has remain largely unchanged for nearly their entire life span. However, these new cars are going to be something entirely different. This is because we are asking mechanics to now be computer engineers, and its not the case that they can. So the problem we are going to face is that we end up with a stock pile of back ordered repairs are going to pile up. So this is going to be a huge problem. One solution that is being considered is that they need to bite the bullet and train an army of mechanics to handle this new demand and pay their salaries until they actually get one to break down 4 years from now. Another option which would pass along the cost for them is to make it a kind of trade school they have people pay to attend under the assumption that they are investing in the future of automobiles.