What about a self-driving Rubicon that climbs rocks while you enjoy the scenery?
Laughable, yes. Far-fetched, maybe not.
According to industry reports in The Wall Street Journal, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is heavily engaged in technical partnership talks with Google to help build vehicles with self-driving technology.
"Every car company is trying to get into the tech space right now because they all know their future depends on it," said Karl Brauer, auto industry analyst for Kelley Blue Book, during a recent interview with website The Verge . "At the same time, tech companies are trying to understand how to transition from software, interface and personal device production into the much more complicated world of automotive manufacturing. A Google/FCA tie-up could simultaneously put both companies in lead in this critical race."
For its part, Google reps have continuously said over the years that the tech giant does not want to build its own self-driving vehicle, preferring to license its technology to automakers.
Neither Google nor FCA reps would comment on The Wall Street Journal report, however FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne has been on record over the past year with an intense desire to partner his company with another automaker to share development and production costs.
A Google/FCA partnership would not totally fulfill that idea, but would certainly give FCA an advantage into the self-driving automotive market as it develops.