Google's Autonomous Fleet Expands with 100 Fully Self-Driving Pacifica Hybrids

Waymo's autonomous Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid 6 photos
Photo: FCA & Waymo
Waymo's autonomous Chrysler Pacifica HybridWaymo's autonomous Chrysler Pacifica HybridWaymo's autonomous Chrysler Pacifica HybridWaymo's autonomous Chrysler Pacifica HybridWaymo's autonomous Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid
You might have grown used to seeing a Lexus RX-450h or that funny bubble car when speaking about Google's autonomous driving tech, but all that is about to change thanks to the company's collaboration with FCA.
Another thing we should get acquainted with fast is referring to Google's self-driving efforts by its new name: Waymo. Last week, the company told everyone that its branch dedicated to teaching cars how to drive themselves had become a standalone entity ran by CEO John Krafcik.

Only a few days later, Waymo is already making a rather big announcement concerning its fleet of autonomous vehicles. Early next year, no less than 100 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrids will be joining the existing test cars that are currently roaming the streets and gathering precious data.

Waymo and FCA have been working together for the past six months on this project that saw engineers from both companies work together to integrate the self-driving system into the 2017 Pacifica Hybrid minivan. They had to find room for a wide range of sensors, a powerful computer, and telematics, meaning there were modifications brought to the car's electrical, powertrain, chassis and structural systems.

The Pacifica Hybrid will be a great addition to our fully self-driving test fleet. FCA’s product development and manufacturing teams have been agile partners, enabling us to go from program kickoff to full vehicle assembly in just six months,” said John Krafcik, Waymo CEO. “They've been great partners, and we look forward to continued teamwork with them as we move into 2017.”

Waymo's partnership with FCA doesn't seem to end here, even though exactly what's in store next for the two giants is unknown. But since FCA isn't working on its own self-driving technology and Waymo definitely needs a car brand on its side, it looks like a match made in heaven. Even Sergio Marchionne, the CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, seems to agree.

As consumers’ transportation needs evolve, strategic collaborations such as this one are vital to promoting a culture of innovation, safety and technology,” he said. “Our partnership with Waymo enables FCA to directly address the opportunities and challenges the automotive industry faces as we quickly approach a future where fully self-driving vehicles are very much a part of our daily lives.”
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram
Press Release
About the author: Vlad Mitrache
Vlad Mitrache profile photo

"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories