Trade Resources Company News Waymo Orders 500 More Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Minivans

Waymo Orders 500 More Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Minivans

FCA US will supply an additional 500 of its Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans to Waymo’s self-driving program.

Last year, the automobile company delivered 100 modified minivans to Waymo.

Production of the 500 minivansi s expected to start early in the next month. Once the minivans are supplied, Waymo will outfit them with its self-driving technology.

Waymo and FCA have allocated a group of engineers who will work on the hardware and software integration on the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica minivans and will leverage each company’s strengths, resources and know-how.

Engineers from the two companies will be co-located at a Southeastern Michigan facility to speed up 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.

FCA claims that Waymo’s self-driving has one of the most advanced technologies in the world, equipped with a combo of hardware and software. The self-driving programme now has an experience of running over 3 million miles of on-road testing and more than 2 billion miles of simulation.

It stated that self-driving cars have the capability to reduce human error which has been attributed as a reason for 94% of road accidents caused every year worldwide, resulting in 1.2 million deaths.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne said: “The collaboration between FCA and Waymo has been advantageous for both companies as we continue to work together to fully understand the steps needed to bring self-driving vehicles to market.

“The addition of 500 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans is a further acknowledgement of the hard work put forth by both engineering teams.”

Waymo CEO John Krafcik said: “The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan is a versatile vehicle for our early rider program, which will give people access to our self-driving fleet to use every day, at any time.

“This collaboration is helping both companies learn how to bring self-driving cars to market, and realize the safety and mobility benefits of this technology.”

Recently, Waymo has invited members from the public to register and participate in its self-driving program. The early rider programme will give select residents in Phoenix, Arizona, US the opportunity to experience self-driving Chrysler Pacifica minivans for the first time.

Waymo says that rather than offering people one or two rides, the program has a goal of offering is participants access to its fleet every day, at any time, to go anywhere within an area twice the size of San Francisco.

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