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Google shares close higher amid expanded Waymo, Fiat self-driving partnership

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Google shares closed higher in the US Thursday, after its self-driving unit Waymo, agreed an expanded partnership with carmaker Fiat Chrysler. Waymo will equip 62,000 Fiat Chrysler minivans with autonomous driving technology and is considering a licensing agreement with the Italian-US business.

Waymo owner, Google shares ended the US Thursday session 2.09% in the green at $1,100. The stock is also a little higher in after-hours activity.

Deeper relationship

Waymo said it will begin equipping 62,000 Fiat Chrysler Pacifica minivans with self-driving technology, towards the end of 2018.

The press release detailing the news added that the two firms would also begin discussing the incorporation of Waymo’s self-driving tech in Fiat Chrysler’s consumer models. One option could be through a licensing agreement, but nothing has been agreed, as yet.

“Waymo's goal from day one has been to build the world’s most experienced driver and give people access to self-driving technology that will make our roads safer,” said Waymo CEO John Krafcik.

“We're excited to deepen our relationship with FCA that will support the launch of our driverless service, and explore future products that support Waymo's mission,” Krafcik added.

Meanwhile, Fiat was looking towards a future partnership that could include its own vehicles, available to the consumer, with Waymo’s autonomous tech.

“FCA is committed to bringing self-driving technology to our customers in a manner that is safe, efficient and realistic,” said Fiat Chrysler CEO, Sergio Marchionne. “Strategic partnerships, such as the one we have with Waymo, will help to drive innovative technology to the forefront.”

Google’s self-driving project

Waymo, formerly know as Google’s self-driving project, is the only company with a complete fleet of fully autonomous cars. Vehicles, where no one is in the driving seat when they are on public roads.

Later this year, the US public should get the opportunity to order and use the world’s very first fleet of self-driving transportation. Waymo is set to launch such a service that will include an app from which customers can order transport.

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