Fiat Chrysler has garnered outsized headlines for becoming the first traditional carmaker to make electric minivans with self-driving technology designed by Alphabet’s Waymo. Behind the scenes, however, Fiat Chrysler is developing its own autonomous vehicles so that it won’t be just a metal bender for tech companies like Waymo, The Information has learned.
Details of the previously undisclosed program underscore how automakers are grappling with the shift toward automated vehicles. Both Fiat Chrysler’s two bigger U.S. rivals, Ford and General Motors, are also working on their own self-driving cars. And like those companies, Fiat Chrysler plans to integrate self-driving components designed by others to fit its unique technical requirements, thereby creating a differentiated riding experience.