Up To 62,000 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Minivans Will Join Waymo


Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will deliver up to 62,000 Pacifica Hybrid minivans for Waymo’s self-driving fleet, starting in late 2018.

The announcement comes after hints of thousands of cars that were ordered in January.

Waymo began with 100 Pacifica Hybrids in 2016, and then expanded the fleet to 600 by ordering 500 more.

The latest deal for up to 62,000 outshines the previous pilot project, and even trumps the order for up to 20,000 Jaguar I-PACE.

Waymo Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

Waymo’s self-driving Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid prototype

“Currently, Waymo is the only company with a fleet of fully self-driving cars, with no one in the driver seat, on public roads. Later this year, Waymo will launch the world’s first self-driving transportation service, allowing the public to use Waymo’s app to request a vehicle.”

“The self-driving Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans are one of the most advanced vehicles on the road today, equipped with Waymo’s self-driving system, including a powerful hardware suite and software honed over 6 million miles of on-road testing.”

John Krafcik, CEO of Waymo said

“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. 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.”

The separate topic is that FCA and Waymo are beginning discussions on use of Waymo self-driving technology, including potentially through licensing, in a FCA-manufactured vehicle available to retail customers.

Sergio Marchionne, Chief Executive Officer, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. said:

“FCA is committed to bringing self-driving technology to our customers in a manner that is safe, efficient and realistic. “Strategic partnerships, such as the one we have with Waymo, will help to drive innovative technology to the forefront.”

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8 Comments on "Up To 62,000 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Minivans Will Join Waymo"

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62 000 units starting late 2018 but when will that amount be delivered entirely?

Anyway, good new, but how good also depend on the timeframe.

Good news but that kind of order will use up most of their production capacity so that regular consumers are going to have a tough time getting one and a reasonable price.

The are 3000+ PacHys on dealer lots in the US, or about 5 month supply. In other words they aren’t selling that well. I doubt it will make much difference in retail sales.

My hunch is the 62,000 figure is over several years, maybe 4 or 5? Just like the Bolt EV, use it for a fleet vehicle, my hunch is that is why they made the Bolt EV a nice taxi like hatch. They planned to use spare production for Cruze Automation.

It will also use up a huge chuck of FCA’s remaining Federal tax credits

I think GM has a better platform for this application. Bolt will be much cheaper to run than these minivans. Maybe for routes that have more than 4 passengers, these could work well, but for a typical route in urban environments these cannot compete with Bolt.

Bolt is lower cost but Pacifica has better ingress/egress and gives a “safer” feeling. I expect most of these 62k to have a larger battery to reduce operating cost. Some may even be BEVs.

Waymo is less focused on dense urban right now, though that’s the larger eventual market. They want to make their first mass deployments as easy as possible.

I believe cost will be a bigger factor than desirability , besides I would rather ride with 2-3 other passengers than 5 or 6, it is just faster.

In addition to the initial orders of 100 in 2016 then an additional 500 in 2017, Waymo ordered “thousands” of Pacificas in January for delivery later this year. It’s a pretty steady 5-10x jump every six months or so.

The next order will be ~300k. It’ll be a custom design, imho. 150 mile BEV, sliding doors, no steering wheel, swivel seating, etc. Low maintenance, utilitarian and functional, with high tech touches.