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Chrysler teams up with Waymo for self-driving minivans

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Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
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Chrysler and Waymo teaming up on self-driving minivans

Chrysler will provide about a hundred hybrid minivans for a pilot project with Waymo - Google's self-driving car subsidiary. 

The Chrysler-Waymo partnership follows GM's announcement that it will test self-driving Chevy Bolts in metro Detroit. 

Kelley Blue Book's Karl Brauer says Chrysler's minivans will let Waymo test self-driving vehicles with larger groups of people.  They could serve as mini-buses on campuses, for example.  

Brauer says it's been a big year for projects involving autonomous vehicles.

"All of these major tech companies and automakers want to be seen as -- if not winning the race to the autonomous vehicle -- at least being fully competitive and on the lead lap," says Brauer.

But in reality, Brauer says a self-driving future is at least a decade away.

He says most consumers will experience vehicle to vehicle or V2V technology before they experience a self-driving car.  V2V lets cars communicate with each other and with traffic systems to prevent crashes.

The U.S. Department of Transportation announced last week a proposed rule that would make V2V technology standard in new cars. 

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Radio. She began her career at Michigan Radio as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.