In what can only be compared to two lovers who are obviously attracted to each other but aren’t ready to commit, Google’s CEO of self-driving cars John Krafcik dismissed expansion of his company’s partnership with Fiat Chrysler (FCA) over the weekend.
“This is just FCA and Google building 100 cars together,” Krafcik stated in an interview on Friday. “We’re still talking to a lot of different automakers.”
The two companies announced a partnership to manufacture 100 self-driving prototypes, which FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne clarified earlier this month was a limited endeavor but one he hoped would expand. Well, don’t get too excited after one dip of the oil stick.
“We’ve been very open about what the technology is and the problem we want to solve together,” John Krafcik added in his interview with Reuters. “Solving this problem is going to require a lot of partnership.”
So there you have it: Google is in an open relationship with FCA.
It shouldn’t surprise people as there are a lot of corporate politics with self-driving cars. With Uber a major player in the game forcing its investors not to double dip with other ridesharing companies, a complex pair of webs has emerged surrounding Uber and its rivals.
Apple’s commitment last week to Didi might help explain the sudden end to negotiations between Apple and the pairing of BMW and Daimler AG, two companies which have loose strategic ties to Uber and Uber-investor Baidu, respectively. Didi is also an investor and international partner to Lyft. BMW and Daimler, along with VW-owned Audi, also control GPS mapping company HERE.
Uber’s autonomous vehicle prototype is built out of a Ford Fusion, while Lyft famously nabbed a $500 million investment from General Motors in January. GM added to its self-driving car power by acquiring Cruise Automation earlier this year.
Fiat bought out the bankrupt Chrysler from United Auto Workers, the Canadian government and U.S. federal government. They eventually merged the two entities in 2014.