With regard to plans for the development of its own driverless car, Google parent company Alphabet is putting its foot on the brakes, although that idiom doesn't really apply because the company's original plan involved dispensing with unnecessary relics like pedals and steering wheels altogether. Instead, according to a report from the Information, Google is placing its hopes in an existing deal with Fiat Chrysler, and Google cars will be minivans rather than the spacepods we've been expecting.

Not that glimpses of those vehicles were particularly sexy, but they were at least sleek when compared to the — shall we say practical — Pacifica minivans that Google will now focus on, following a partnership announced in May. At that time, the Verge wrote that the Pacificas used by Google would be the third vehicle type for the company, joining Google's own pod prototypes and a fleet of Lexus RX crossovers.


Jokes aside, as the Pacifca can hold up to eight passengers, it could be useful as a shuttle for urban rideshare users, or, you know, suburban kids' soccer teams. The Verge notes that the Pacificas would be handed over to Google to be fitted with the company's autonomous software and hardware, and an autonomous car from Google and Fiat Chrysler could arrive as soon as the end of next year.

Alphabet CEO Larry Page and CFO Ruth Porat are reportedly behind the call to halt the self-produced car car program at the company, a decision perhaps met with dismay within the secretive Google X division and its autonomous driving subset, cleverly dubbed Chauffeur. Sergey Brin, who co-founded Google with Larry Page, was at odds with Page over the decision according to The Information, hoping to develop Google's own car from scratch. Now Page is expected to move Chauffeur into a separate Alphabet company. According to the Verge, more news on the company's driverless car aspirations is expected later today.

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via Chrysler