Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles to supply Waymo with thousands of Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans
Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has announced that it will deliver thousands of its Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans to Waymo, to support the launch of the world’s first driverless ride-hailing service.
This will not be the first mass delivery of Pacifica Hybrid minivans from Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles to Waymo, as in 2016, the automobile company delivered 100 Pacifica Hybrid minivans, adapted for self-driving, to Waymo. 500 more were delivered in 2017.
The collaboration between Waymo and FCA engineers allowed the teams to design a “self-driving vehicle built on a mass production platform.”
“In order to move quickly and efficiently in autonomy, it is essential to partner with like-minded technology leaders,” says Sergio Marchionne, Chief Executive Officer, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.
“Our partnership with Waymo continues to grow and strengthen; this represents the latest sign of our commitment to this technology.”
Waymo is set to launch its autonomous ride-hailing service to the public beginning in Phoenix this year. The additional Pacifica Hybrid minivans will be used to support the company as it expands its service to more cities across the United States.
“With the world’s first fleet of fully self-driving vehicles on the road, we’ve moved from research and development, to operations and deployment,” says John Krafcik, CEO of Waymo.
“The Pacifica Hybrid minivans offer a versatile interior and a comfortable ride experience, and these additional vehicles will help us scale.”
In November 2017, Waymo achieved a technical milestone when it began test-driving a fleet of Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans on public roads without a driver at the wheel, which led to the hybrid minivans becoming the first vehicle to attain Level 4 autonomy as designated by the Society of Automotive Engineers.
According to the companies, the self-driving Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans are the “most advanced vehicles on the road today.” Not only are they equipped with Waymo’s powerful hardware suite, but they are also running Waymo’s self-driving software, which has undergone more than 4 million miles of on-road testing, as well as billions of miles in simulation.
The companies say that the minivan’s electrical, powertrain, chassis and structural systems “make an ideal vehicle to accommodate Waymo’s self-driving technology.”