The partnership between Google and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ is now taking form and will see the newly formed Waymo division gain a total of 100 self-driving Chrysler Pacifica minivans.
Just recently, Google announced a revamp of its autonomous car plans which included the introduction of their bespoke division – Waymo – and now its chief executive officer, John Krafcik, has taken the wraps off the already described autonomous Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid. The model boasts the latest and greatest hardware and software from the technology giant – such as updated sensors, an all-new computer, as well as other “major system updates” to make sure the hybrid minivan can fulfill “fully self-driving” duties. Back in May Google and FCA announced they would set up a fleet of 100 autonomous test cars – so now the tech company is simply showing us the finished product.
The standard 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid needed six months of work to integrate the vast array of self-driving functionalities and production of the driverless Pacifica started in October. Google was of course granted early access to prototype minivans for testing purposes, including more than 200 hours in extreme weather conditions. The models also underwent trials at FCA’s Chelsea Proving Grounds in Chelsea, Michigan and also at the Arizona Proving Grounds in Yucca, Arizona – with Waymo testing them at its own California location. The 100 examples will start public road testing in 2017.