It is more than a year since Fiat Chrysler Alliance announced it will help Waymo, Google’s autonomous program. Now, FCA Group announces Waymo will add 500 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans to expand its self-driving program. FCA previously delivered 100 minivans, modified for self-driving, to Waymo during the second half of 2016.
Production of the additional 500 minivans will ramp up beginning next month. Waymo will then outfit these vehicles with its self-driving technology.
Waymo also announced today that it is inviting members of the public to use its fleet of self-driving vehicles for everyday travel. Waymo’s early rider program will give selected Phoenix residents the opportunity to experience the self-driving Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans for the first time.
The self-driving Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans are advanced vehicles, equipped with Waymo’s hardware suite. The self-driving minivans are also running Waymo’s self-driving software, which has been driven with nearly 3 million miles of on-road testing and billions of miles in simulation.
This first-of-its kind collaboration brought engineers from FCA and Waymo together to integrate Waymo’s fully self-driving system into the all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan, leveraging each company’s individual strengths and resources.
The minivan’s electrical, powertrain, chassis and structural systems were all modified to accommodate Waymo’s self-driving technology.
Self-driving vehicles have the potential to prevent many of the 1.2 million deaths that occur each year on roads worldwide, 94 percent of which are caused by human error.