Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid to Become World's First Driverless Ride-Hailing Service

Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid body with Waymo brains 8 photos
Photo: FCA
Self driving Chrysler Pacifica HybridSelf driving Chrysler Pacifica HybridSelf driving Chrysler Pacifica HybridSelf driving Chrysler Pacifica HybridSelf driving Chrysler Pacifica HybridSelf driving Chrysler Pacifica HybridSelf driving Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid
As opposed to car-sharing services, of which several are in operation around the world, ride-hailing is pretty much what Uber does: you call for a car y using an app, and then the driver and the vehicle take you where you need to go.
What this planet hasn't seen yet is a driverless car-hailing service. And Waymo, the company formerly known as Google's self-driving car project, plans to be the first to offer such a service.

Waymo pretty much has the technology to create a fleet of autonomous Uber-like cars. What it lacked, until recently, were the vehicles themselves. And they got them. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) announced on Monday it has signed an agreement with Waymo for the delivery of Chrysler Pacifica hybrids to be used for exactly that purpose.

“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,” said 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.”

Waymo is a big fan of the Pacifica hybrid, having received over the course of two years no less than 600 such vehicles from FCA. Those have been used to enable design teams to create a self-driving car built on a mass production platform.

The first-of-its-name autonomous ride-hailing service will be launched in Phoenix later this year after the company had tested the autonomous technology it produces in 25 cities across the United States. In all, the automated driving software has been tested by Waymo on the roads for more than 4 million miles.

Driverless Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans have been on public roads since last November, having achieved Level 4 autonomy, which means that the car is monitoring the surroundings in a wider range of environments, but only after being switched on by the driver in safe conditions.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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