Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has begun discussing a driverless car partnership with ride-hailing giant Uber Technologies.
The tech deal is in its early stages of discussion, according to Bloomberg, and the venture could be announced by the end of the year.
Uber is said to be talking with other automakers, while Fiat has had contact with Amazon regarding self-driving vehicles for the web retailer’s deliveries.
Bloomberg noted that Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has been assertively seeking deals with tech companies to build self-driving cars, and recently offered to build a self-driving car for Apple.
The Italian-American car company is debt-laden and lacks the resources to develop its own autonomous technology to keep pace with other major automakers in this area.
Today’s news comes amid a series of recent agreements between global automakers and various tech ventures, including ride-hailing services.
In January, General Motors invested $500 million in Lyft, second in size behind Uber in U.S. ride hailing. GM leases vehicles to Lyft drivers in Chicago and Anarbor, Michigan with plans to expand the program.
Last month, Toyota made an undisclosed investment in Uber, and Volkswagen poured $300 million into Ghett, a taxi-hailing service.
Previously, Fiat Chrysler inked a deal with Google to integrate the Internet search company’s self-driving technology into about 100 of the carmaker’s new Pacifica minivans.
And if all of this is not confusing enough, late last month Uber gave a public first look at its driverless prototype in Pittsburgh, where it is constructing a new autonomous research and development center.
The car wasn’t a Toyota, Fiat or Chrysler — it was a Ford Fusion.
And why is Uber intent on autonomous vehicle development?
The company says self-driving vehicles would allow lowering its costs and risks of working with human drivers.
Apparently the cross pollination of auto manufacturers, ride-sharing companies and self-driving tech firms offers benefits to all three.