will add 500 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans to expand its
self-driving program. FCA previously delivered 100 minivans, modified
for self-driving, to Waymo during the second half of 2016. Production of
the additional 500 minivans will ramp up beginning next month. Waymo
will then outfit these vehicles with its self-driving technology.
Waymo is inviting members of the public to use its fleet of self-driving
vehicles for everyday travel. Waymo’s early rider program will give
selected Phoenix residents the opportunity to experience the
self-driving Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans for the first time.
Information about Waymo’s early rider program can be found at waymo.com/apply.
“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,” said Sergio Marchionne,
Chief Executive Officer, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. “The addition of
500 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans is a further acknowledgement of
the hard work put forth by both engineering teams.”
“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,” said John Krafcik, Chief Executive
Officer, Waymo. “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.”
The self-driving Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans are the most advanced
vehicles on the road today, equipped with Waymo’s powerful hardware
suite. The self-driving minivans are also running Waymo’s self-driving
software, which has been honed with nearly 3 million miles of on-road
testing and billions of miles in simulation.
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, leveraging each company’s
individual strengths and resources. The minivan’s electrical, powertrain,
chassis and structural systems were all modified to accommodate Waymo’s
Waymo and FCA co-located a select group of engineers 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 vehicles have the potential to prevent many of the 1.2
million deaths that occur each year on roads worldwide, 94 percent of
which are caused by human error.