FCA US LLC and Waymo are expanding their partnership further, this time with an agreement to add up to 62,000 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans to Waymo’s self-driving fleet. Vehicle deliveries are expected late this year, and both companies are discussing the use of Waymo’s self-driving technology, including potentially licensing it, in a FCA-manufactured vehicle available to retail customers.
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Earlier this year, FCA US LLC delivered 500 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans to Waymo to boost the tech company’s autonomous driving program. To date, FCA has delivered 600 Pacifica Hybrid minivans to Waymo.
“FCA is committed to bringing self-driving technology to our customers in a manner that is safe, efficient, and realistic,” said Sergio Marchionne, Chief Executive Officer, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. “Strategic partnerships, such as the one we have with Waymo, will help to drive innovative technology to the forefront.”
“Waymo’s goal from day one has been to build the world’s most experienced driver and give people access to self-driving technology that will make our roads safer,” added Waymo CEO John Krafcik.
One of the goals for FCA and Waymo was to develop an autonomous vehicle for mass production. The partnership paired FCA and Waymo engineers together who devised ways to implement Waymo’s automated technology into the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid. Leaders from both companies say leveraging each other’s strengths, experiences, and resources is critical for the successful and safe implementation of autonomous driving.
FCA and Waymo engineers have continued working together to support Waymo’s expansion, and to advance the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid with autonomous technology. Waymo’s self-driving system includes a powerful hardware and software suite honed over 6 million miles of on-road testing.
Later this year, Waymo will launch a self-driving transportation service, allowing the public to use Waymo’s app to request a vehicle.
“We’re excited to deepen our relationship with FCA that will support the launch of our driverless service, and explore future products that support Waymo’s mission,” Krafcik said.
The Automoblog Staff contributed to this report and can be reached anytime.
Photos & Source: FCA US LLC.