Chrysler Pacifica PHEV Minivan To Be Used In Google’s Self-Driving Car Project

1 year ago by Steven Loveday 17

2017 Chrysler Pacifica

2017 Chrysler Pacifica

Google (Alphabet) will be expanding its self-driving car project utilizing the upcoming 2017 Chrysler Pacifica PHEV minivan. Added to this, Fiat Chrysler (FCA) engineers will work with the staff at Google to install the autonomous technology.

This is the first time that Google has officially committed to a direct partnership with an automaker. The companies will install software and the necessary sensors into the vehicle . The project, set to begin later this year, will provide Google with more than double the vehicles available in its current self-driving test fleet.

In the initial phase, FCA will provide Google with about 100 vehicles, specifically built to be equipped with the new technology. Google  and FCA engineers will then add on the computers, sensors and needed software. In order to facilitate the project, both teams of engineers will work side-by-side at a southeastern Michigan location.

Both companies seem very excited and optimistic about the project. John Krafcik, Chief Executive Officer of the Google Self-Driving Car Project, said:

“FCA has a nimble and experienced engineering team and the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan is well-suited for Google’s self-driving technology. The opportunity to work closely with FCA engineers will accelerate our efforts to develop a fully self-driving car that will make our roads safer and bring everyday destinations within reach for those who cannot drive.”

CEO of FCA, Sergio Marchionne agreed:

“Working with Google provides an opportunity for FCA to partner with one of the world’s leading technology companies to accelerate the pace of innovation in the automotive industry. The experience both companies gain will be fundamental to delivering automotive technology solutions that ultimately have far-reaching consumer benefits.”

Every year in the U.S., 33,000 deaths are reported from traffic accidents. Almost all of these can be attributed to human error. Recent studies and reports are proving more and more that autonomous technology can and will negate this growing problem.

Google is currently testing its cars in four U.S. cities. It has been reported that the Pacifica project testing will begin on a private, closed track in California, but will eventually move to public roads.

The new partnership between Google and FCA will be just another of many self-driving testing projects and studies that will help to bring this technology to the forefront.

Source: FCA

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17 responses to "Chrysler Pacifica PHEV Minivan To Be Used In Google’s Self-Driving Car Project"

  1. Deven Foskey says:

    To hell with these self-driving cars. If you do not want to drive; do not buy a car. You can go ride with everyone else who does not want to drive, on the bus. I like driving. In fact; the simpler, the better. I like viscous coupling limited slip differentials and manual transmissions. Don’t take that away from me. If the current course of autonomous transportation continues, people like me will inevitably be marginalized, as insurance companies; who want to collect money and pay nothing, will makebit so expensive and unreasonable to drive your own car that no will. It heralds the death of innovation, inspiration to do better, go further. It is the death of motorsport; a worldwide tradition, transcending the generations.

    Deven – 26 y.o.

    1. MikeM says:

      And they already banned my favorite sports of Cock Fighting and Dwarf Tossing.

      Is nothing sacred any more?

      1. SJC says:

        Not to mention the infamous cat juggling.

    2. Skryll says:

      The beauty lies in being able to self drive when it is fun and kick in the autopilot when it sucks. Lets admit it, stop and go traffic in the morning commute for 45 minutes sucks at least 80% of the time. I rented a tesla P90DL for a 4 day weekend for a 960 mile round trip visit to Universal Studios in Los Angeles. Unlike with my Honday Odysee before, I was having fun all the way. I drove about 80% autopilot. And the 20% I had to be very vigilant to avoid getting a ticket 🙂 Ludicrous acceleration is just breathtaking. When I arrived I felt like I had only driven half the distance, because autopilot takes out all the frustration and stress. Both highway lanes blocked with slow trucks and dumb drivers? Enable autopilot and take a sip from your water bottle. Lane opens up or opportunity for fun? Off we go manually. Its really the combination of both that makes the experience so perfect. I do however agree that long term when in 20 years its 100% autopilot with no manual option, then I will miss the sporty part of it. But then I may also be too old to do so 🙂

      Oh and I grew up on manual driving vs automatic and honestly I don’t miss manual driving a bit. In fact to me thinking manual vs automatic means ‘automatic without autopilot’ vs ‘autopilot’.

      It’s 2016 after all.

      Skryll – 45 y.o.

      1. SJC says:

        Semi autonomous for stop and go freeway clog would reduce stress for many commuters, bring it on.

    3. SparkEV says:

      I for one would welcome self driving cars so I can be more productive instead of wasting time in traffic. For example, I could be reading insideevs while car drives itself. Very minor side benefit is that far fewer people will die from traffic accidents.

      If you enjoy being stuck in traffic and not being able to do other things, you can always play “stuck in traffic simulator” video game in your self driving car. In fact, there’s that innovation: creating better games for humans to play while car is driving itself.

    4. Someone out there says:

      Driving will not only go away, it will probably be banned on public roads eventually. And good riddance I say, people are terrible at driving taking idiotic risks, driving under the influence and much more. I welcome autonomous driving with open arms!

      1. Skryll says:

        They will ban people on public roads eventually too, because they just get in the way of the AI automatrons.

    5. Jeffrey Songster says:

      Well Deven… time to start saving and preserving your favorite ‘sports’ cars. Looks like their days are numbered. I too, have enjoyed spirited driving and autosports for decades. Looks to me though as if shifting gears and oil burning engines are about to become a thing of the past. Even today’s ‘sports’ cars have silly fake engine noises and 10 speed auto trannies. Not much of the pre smog controlled world still exists. But I also must say… as someone who desperately loves breathing fresh air and eliminating 30k per year of unnecessary fatalities and tragedies from cars it is clear where the population is going.
      The future will be different from today… even in your short lifetime many things have already changed inexorably. Mine even more.

      Jeff 54 Y.O.

    6. Sublime says:

      I’m a good knife thrower. Then one day out of the blue, HR told me I have to stop throwing knives around the people using the copier. Who are they to tell me what I can or can’t do. I’ve never hit anyone. It’s enjoyable to me. What’s the problem?

      I tell you, first they came for the smokers, and you didn’t speak up, because you didn’t smoke.

      Then they came for the knife throwers, but you didn’t speak up…

      When they come for you they’ll be no one left.

    7. Kdawg says:

      “It is the death of motorsport”
      Most sports are played in designated areas, not on public roads.

      1. Sublime says:

        Exactly. Laws banning assault did not end boxing.

    8. MT says:

      Hope you enjoy riding a horse-drawn wagon and using buggy whips, too, because those are another part of history that won’t be making a big comeback.

      Please be sure to support your local private track when public roads go autonomous if you love driving so much. To hell with private drivers on public roads!

      I’m looking forward to the day when we become free from the huge toll that humans driving vehicles places on society. I’ve lost several relatives and dozens of friends and acquaintances to auto accidents, and many more have been maimed.

      Then there’s the immense repair costs to the damaged vehicles and roads shelled out every year.

      Autonomous cars will be the death of innovation? Quite the opposite, more like embracing innovation to make life better.

      Join a local volunteer rescue squad, if one exists in your area, to get a truer version of the cost to society, and you may change your mind… in addition, you’ll likely be among the last to be replaced by autonomous technology, and you’ll have permission to drive with urgency when warranted.

      1. MJP462 says:


  2. gsned57 says:

    Good for Sergio getting a partner. It was only a few months ago you guys were reporting he was trying to make this happen and having an announcement now is good progress. The Pacifica Plug in (I won’t call the F’ing car a hybrid) is in all likelihood my next car but I’m just hoping like all Chrysler products I can get a used one 2-3 years later for a 66% discount 🙂

  3. georges says:

    This just out on WSJ

    GM and Lyft to use Chevy BoltEV for self driving Taxi. Taxi’s on the road within 1 year.

    1. SJC says:

      Business channels doubt fully autonomous cars in only a year.