Google and Fiat have come up with one of the weirdest collaboration efforts for some time as the automaker celebrates selling 3.5 million Fiat 500s since 2007. What’s perplexing is that the new offering isn’t for some fancy new electric vehicle, but a regular-old gas-powered range, albeit with a hybrid model thrown in.
The best part of this collaboration appears to be firstly, that the car has Google Assistant equipped, which is sure to be better than most automakers speech recognition. People buying the Google car will also get a welcome kit that includes a Google Hub that allows you to ask the car, which features a telematics box, about its fuel status and where the car is parked.
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Buyers will be given instructions for getting the car paired with their hub upon purchase. Once completed, the telematics device will also be able to inform you if the car has been travelling at excessive speeds. You’ll also be able to ask it for reports on the tire pressure and warnings if the car is stolen. Clearly some interesting ideas, and for a lot less money than you’d spend on a Tesla.
The weirdest inclusion is the seat upholstery as the center pillars and a badge above the wheel arch reads “Hey Google.” While a technological tie-in makes perfect sense, and might add some unique features to this car, the branding is a bit weird. Perhaps purchasers might want to strap some cameras to the roof so they can pretend to be a Google Mapping car.
The range will be available across Europe and costs between £16,005 (around $22,000) for the 500 Hybrid and £21,765 ($30,000). The new cars will be available to buy from April.
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