Waymo orders 1000s of Pacificas for driverless taxis

31 January, 2018, 09:41 | Author: Franklin Nunez
  • FCA US LLC announced today an agreement to supply thousands of Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans to Waymo to support the launch of the world’s first driverless ride-hailing service

The self-driving software is claimed to have completed more than 4 million miles in on-road testing and billions of miles in simulation.

Waymo plans to buy "thousands" of Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans to be used as Google's autonomous vehicle spin-off sets up a driverless ride-hailing service in "multiple USA cities", Waymo and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced Tuesday. The latest model 2018 Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivan starts at around $40,000. He added that their partnership with the company is strengthening and growing that indicates the latest sign of their commitment to this technology.

The vehicles are built by engineers from both FCA and Waymo who adapted their hardware sensor suite to the vehicle.

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"With the world's first fleet of fully self-driving vehicles in the street, we've moved from development and research to operations and installation", Waymo manager John Krafcik said in a statement.

FCA will supply thousands of hybrid Pacificas to Waymo. The minivan's electrical, powertrain, chassis and structural systems make an ideal vehicle to accommodate Waymo's self-driving technology. Once they are delivered, these self-driving minivans will be tested in multiple cities. The first 100 were delivered when the partnership was announced in May 2016, and an additional 500 were delivered in 2017. According to a Chrysler release, Waymo also tested its self-driving fleet in Atlanta, San Francisco and the Detroit and Seattle areas.

GM president Dan Ammann argued last fall that the first company to deploy self-driving taxis at scale, meaning by the thousands, will enjoy a significant "first mover" advantage. Waymo is due to begin offering a ride-hailing service to the public in Phoenix later this year. The deal comes after Waymo equipped 600 existing Chrysler Pacifica minivans with its driverless technology in25cities nationwide.

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The Pacifica hybrid will be Waymo's primary workhorse when its service debuts in Phoenix sometime this year.

Waymo is establishing itself at the forefront of the self-driving auto movement, particularly when it comes to autonomous vehicles that offers rides to passengers.

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