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Google, Fiat Chrysler Confirm Autonomous Vehicle Alliance

Deal will focus on new Chrysler Pacifica minivan.

by on May.03, 2016

A self-driving Pacifica is one step closer to reality with today's announcement from FCA and Google.

Google and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles are about to put things on autopilot, the two companies teaming up on a program aimed at bringing self-driving vehicles to market in the near future.

The two have confirmed an alliance, rumored for more than a week, that will see Google acquire 100 of FCA’s new Chrysler Pacifica minivans. They will help the tech giant more than double its current fleet of autonomous vehicle prototypes, the two firms announced late Tuesday. That could eventually see Google technology used in FCA’s production vehicles, though no formal plans for that move have yet been locked down.

Breaking News!

“This announcement is a recognition of the fact we found a sharing of the minds with Google,” said FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne, his counterpart at Google, autonomous vehicle chief John Krafcik saying the Silicon Valley firm saw the Detroit maker as “nimble and experienced.” (more…)

FCA, Google Could Announce Autonomous Deal Today

First step: self-driving Pacifica minivan.

by on May.03, 2016

Chrysler wants to reposition the Pacifica as more than a minivan; autonomous tech could help.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Google could announce a joint venture as early as today, according to reports out of Milan.

The non-exclusive project would see FCA use the tech firm’s autonomous vehicle technology in several dozen prototypes based off the new Chrysler Pacifica minivan, according to a report by the Bloomberg news service. But several observers caution that a deal might take longer than expected, and note how a reported Ford-Google alliance failed to materialize, as many had expected, last January.

News Now!

It would mark the first official alliance for Google, which has said it prefers to find partners to use its autonomous vehicle technology, rather than going into the car business itself. Meanwhile, FCA would suddenly move to the head of the class, rather than lagging at the back of the self-driving pack.

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Chrysler’s Clint Eastwood Commercial Caught Up in Political Storm

Made in Detroit? Er, Louisiana?

by on Feb.08, 2012

Eastwood may be a Republican strongly opposed to the auto bailout but that hasn't stopped critics from insisting the Chrysler ad was a paid commercial for the Obama Administration.

What would Dirty Harry do?  It might take a no-nonsense cop to sort through the political firestorm that has been generated by the much-watched and widely discussed 2-minute Chrysler commercial – starring actor Clint Eastwood — that aired during this past weekend’s Super Bowl.

Was it “not political” as Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne insists?  Or was it a less-than-subtle “thank you” to the Obama Administration for the maker’s 2009 bailout?  Meanwhile, the controversy was only escalated as it turns out much of the video used in the “Halftime in America” spot was filmed near New Orleans, despite the Chrysler tagline, “Made in Detroit.”

Tackling the News!

The “Halftime” commercial was, on the whole, one of the most popular of the many ads to run during Super Bowl XLVI according to a variety of tracking sources, including Ace Metrix and the consumer panel put together by newspaper USA Today.  The unusually long spot – which followed the format of a commercial featuring rapper Eminem during the 2011 bowl game – took aim at the malaise and fears that seem to be overwhelming America today.  One might argue that the message could have come from either political party and almost hinted at the legendary “Morning in America” campaign used three decades ago by then presidential candidate Ronald Reagan.

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