Waymo Orders Thousands of Chrysler Pacificas for Autonomous Fleet
Waymo will expand its fleet of self-driving vehicles as it prepares to launch ride-hailing services across different cities in the U.S. To achieve this vision, Waymo has hit up FCA for more Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans that it can equip with self-driving technology.
In the latter half of 2016, FCA delivered 100 Pacifica Hybrids to Waymo. The following year, it sent out 500 more of these vehicles. Now, Waymo will receive “thousands” of additional minivans, with deliveries starting late this year.
“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, in a statement. “The Pacifica Hybrid minivans offer a versatile interior and a comfortable ride experience, and these additional vehicles will help us scale.”
Waymo announced in November that it was testing fully autonomous cars with no driver behind the wheel in the Phoenix metro area. These vehicles achieve Level 4 autonomy as classified by the Society of Automotive Engineers, meaning they can drive without human oversight in certain conditions. The company will launch an autonomous ride-hailing service in Phoenix this year, with more cities to follow. The autonomous tech company has logged more than 4 million miles of testing on the road, and billions more in simulation.
“In order to move quickly and efficiently in autonomy, it is essential to partner with like-minded technology leaders,” said FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne in a statement. In addition to its partnership with Waymo, FCA has linked up with BMW, Intel, and others to develop a common autonomous vehicle platform that can be shared across the industry.