Waymo Orders Thousands Of Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid (Plug-In) Vans

Waymo Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

JAN 31 2018 BY STEVEN LOVEDAY 14

Waymo Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

Waymo’s self-driving Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid prototype

While Ford is working on its own self-driving tech, and GM acquired Cruise Automation for assistance, Fiat-Chrysler’s gateway to future mobility is via Waymo.

Waymo is Alphabet’s autonomous car subsidiary, formerly known as the Google self-driving car project. As we’ve previously reported, the company is employing a fleet of Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans outfitted with its suite of autonomous technology. Initially, about a year ago, Waymo obtained 100 vehicles for the self-driving test fleet, followed by another 500 a few months thereafter.

Waymo Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

Waymo’s self-driving Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

Now, Waymo has placed another order for thousands of modified, self-driving Pacifica Hybrids. For now, the company is offering free test rides in Arizona and plans to launch a ride-sharing service sometime in 2018. There are also plans to expand the number of cities in which such test rides and eventual ride-sharing services are offered.

The final number of autonomous Pacifica Hybrids ordered will depend on the latter. Waymo is not giving a definitive number at this time but has said that orders may continue to grow, however, it has announced that an order has already been finalized for at least “thousands.”

Waymo CEO John Krafcik told CNBC:

“With the world’s first fleet of fully self-driving vehicles on the road, we’ve moved from research and development to operations and deployment.”

Fiat Chrysler isn’t starting its own ride-sharing, autonomous, or future mobility subsidiaries, so at this point, Waymo is its only gateway into the growing markets. FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne shared:

“In order to move quickly and efficiently in autonomy, it is essential to partner with like-minded technology leaders.”

It’s important to note that while FCA is manufacturing these modified Pacifica Hybrids for Waymo, they are not available for purchase by the general public or any other businesses at this time.

Source: CNBC

Categories: Chrysler

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14 Comments on "Waymo Orders Thousands Of Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid (Plug-In) Vans"

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Doggydogworld

One article said these new vans would be delivered in late 2018. I’m surprised it’s not sooner. I expected thousands by summer and tens of thousands by yearend.

Waymo either hit some sort of roadblock or they have yet another generation of sensors on the way.

menorman

Probably delivering them as fast as FCA can produce them.

BenG

Fascinating news. Thanks for sharing. It will be amazing to see if these can really deliver autonomous mobility, and how the government will regulate.

The Hybrid Pacifica is a great platform for this use, with it’s fantastic space, solid electric/hybrid credentials and affordability. Only problem is their reliability, which is enough to keep me from personally considering one.

HVACman

The Pacifica is a great people-mover. A PHEV is a good intermediate solution for an AV, but as GM said, the future is AV and long-term path to AV is all-electric, which is why they are so aggressive about developing their next generation of EVs.

Wireless charging at an AV business parking stations while their rigs await dispatch ensures that no human ever has to provide an AV regular attendance to refuel, nor does the AV business owner have to install an expensive-to-own-and-operate gas refueling station in the middle of a dense urban environment. Any parking garage with power will do.

Waymo/FCA may be a little ahead with their AV tech now, but GM is ahead with the optimal urban AV vehicle.

Christian

Check out elixwireless.com for a solid solution for this.

Nick

No towing rating. Super disappointing.

Dan

Sometimes I wonder if the fanbois are just bots. Why would a ride share vehicle need to tow anything?

WadeTyhon

“Why would a ride share vehicle need to tow anything?”

lol that is a very good question.

“Sometimes I wonder if the fanbois are just bots.”

Either way, they’re both “programmed” to some degree!

Nick

Haha!

I suspect you’d need some software tweeks for that. 😀

WadeTyhon

This is why fanbois of all brands receive constant OTA updates. 🙂

Each update is rolled out over the course of a few days. First to uberfanbois that have opted in to beta test the latest techniques in concern trolling, deflection, and general talking points.

Once the kinks are worked out and the lines of attack are refined, the update goes live to all remaining fanbois to parrott endlessly.

Nick

Was responding to comment that they are great people movers, which is true. If they slap a tow rating of 3k or more on next years model, I’ll jump on it so fast!

For autonomous rise share, who cares.

“Uber…take me & My RV Camper to this Campsite!”

“But I can’t tow!” – Uber Ride Share

“No? OK. Tesla ride sharing – next stop!”

EVShopper

At this rate, maybe FCA will get bought out by Waymo.

Lars

Interesting idea. One snag thought CFA is far behind in EV development. Sergio doesn’t believe in EVs.
Ultimately drive sharing fleets will all be EVs – without a towing hitch ?