Uber and Fiat Chrysler may Collaborate on Autonomous Cars

Ride-sharing company Uber Technologies Inc. is reported to be in talks with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV for a potential collaboration on autonomous cars. According to the Wall Street Journal, the talks are still in the preliminary stage. Uber is also said to be holding talks with several other auto makers.

 The talks underline the latest trend of growing collaboration between technology companies and auto companies. Apple recently infused $1 billion in Didi Chuxing, a ride-sharing company in China, while General Motor invested $500 million in Lyft Inc.

Uber made a foray into the self-driving car segment last year when it opened its Uber Advanced Technologies Center in Pittsburgh.  The company is already testing driverless cars in the city. Uber is also collaborating with Toyota Motor Corp. for a new leasing plan.

Fiat Chrysler, on the other hand, entered into a deal with Alphabet’s Google to collaborate in developing an autonomous minivan. The companies plan to test drive the minivan by the end of this year. The project involves integrating the 2017 Pacifica Hybrid minivan with Alphabet’s software, computers, and sensors.

Fiat also conducted talks with Amazon for a potential collaboration in the area of autonomous driving vehicles for package deliveries. A deal with Uber may help Fiat in fending off the growing competition from Ford and General Motors. These companies have made substantial investments in ride sharing and other initiatives.

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick discussed the future of self-driving cars at a business in Berlin. The conference was also attended by Dieter Zetsche, chairman of Daimler AG.