Chrysler Delivers 100 Uniquely Built Pacifica Hybrids to Waymo for Self-driving Test Fleet
Chrysler has delivered a fleet of 100 Pacifica Hybrid minivans (a 30 mile, extended range plug-in) to Waymo for testing and development of its self-driving technology.
Waymo is a new Alphabet’s company (formerly Google’s self-driving car project).
FCA and Waymo have been joint developing the project since this summer, and have equipped the plug-in hybrid Pacifica with additional hardware (purpose-built computer and a suite of sensors, telematics and other systems) for fully self-driving operations.
Tests of the cars will begin in early 2017.
“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 thereby leveraging each company’s individual strengths and resources. Engineering modifications to the minivan’s electrical, powertrain, chassis and structural systems were implemented to optimize the Pacifica Hybrid for Waymo’s fully self-driving technology.”
“Waymo and FCA co-located part of their engineering teams at a facility in southeastern Michigan to accelerate the overall development process. In addition, extensive testing was carried out at FCA’s Chelsea Proving Grounds in Chelsea, Michigan, and Arizona Proving Grounds in Yucca, Arizona, as well as Waymo test sites in California.”
“Self-driving cars have the potential to prevent some of the 1.2 million deaths that occur each year on roads worldwide, 94 percent of which are caused by human error. This collaboration will help FCA and Waymo better understand what it will take to bring self-driving cars into the world.”
John Krafcik, Chief Executive Officer, Waymo said:
“The Pacifica Hybrid will be a great addition to our fully self-driving test fleet. FCA’s product development and manufacturing teams have been agile partners, enabling us to go from program kickoff to full vehicle assembly in just six months. They’ve been great partners, and we look forward to continued teamwork with them as we move into 2017.”
Sergio Marchionne, Chief Executive Officer, FCA said:
“As consumers’ transportation needs evolve, strategic collaborations such as this one are vital to promoting a culture of innovation, safety and technology. Our partnership with Waymo enables FCA to directly address the opportunities and challenges the automotive industry faces as we quickly approach a future where fully self-driving vehicles are very much a part of our daily lives.”