The rumor mill is red hot this morning with speculation that Fiat Chrysler and Google are in the late stages of talks regarding an autonomous vehicle technology partnership. One source told the Wall St. Journal that the talks have been ongoing for several months. Google has made it clear that it does not want to actually build cars, but would take on the role of auto supplier. Fiat Chrysler on the other hand, has been slow in developing self-driving cars and electrics, so this could be marriage of convenience. First word of the potential partnership came from AutoExtremist.com, an industry blog. Stay tuned, for this could be a huge boost for FCA.
Automotive News reports Google has launched a major lobbying and public relations campaign to win acceptance of autonomous vehicles, and to have a key role in the rules that will govern them.
When it comes to trusting the technology that will accompany self-driving cars, more than half of Gen Y vehicle owners say they have faith. But older folks are not ready to take the leap. J.D. Power said 41 percent of Gen X trusts the technology, and only 23 percent of Baby Boomers do and only 18 percent of Pre-Boomers are believers. The one view all generations share is a concern for technology security, specifically surrounding privacy and the potential for systems to be hacked, hijacked or to crash (either the vehicle or the system itself). “The level of trust is directly linked to the level of interest in a new technology among automobile buyers,” said Kristin Kolodge, executive director of driver interaction & HMI research at J.D. Power. “Acceptance can be increased with exposure over time and experience with automated technologies. But trust is fragile and can be broken if there is an excessive number of incidents with automated vehicles.” The survey reveals customers are most interested in smart headlights, night vision, lane change assist, traffic jam assist, medical emergency stop, and predictive vehicle control. Interest in some those features, such as night vision, drops significantly when the discussion turns to price, in this case about $2,000. Gen Y and Gen Z are the most interested in mobility sharing/co-ownership.
Mitsubishi said none of its vehicles sold here in the U.S. are affected by the fuel consumption cheating scandal in Japan. The company admitted it manipulated data on some sub compact cars sold in Japan and on two models produced for Nissan.