Waymo Gets Pacifica Hybrid Minivans
for Self Driving Test Fleet
December 19, 2016
Waymo (formerly the Google self-driving car project) and FCA noted that
production of 100 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans uniquely built to
enable fully self-driving operations has been completed. The vehicles
are currently being outfitted with Waymo's fully self-driving
technology, including a purpose-built computer and a suite of sensors,
telematics and other systems, and will join Waymo's self-driving test
fleet in early 2017. Waymo and FCA also revealed today the first images
of the fully self-driving Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid vehicle.
The 2017 Chrysler Pacific Hybrid
minivan equipped with Waymo's fully self-driving technology
This 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 thereby leveraging each company's individual strengths and
resources. Engineering modifications to the minivan's electrical,
powertrain, chassis and structural systems were implemented to optimize
the Pacifica Hybrid for Waymo's fully self-driving technology.
"The Pacifica Hybrid will be a great addition to our fully self-driving
test fleet. FCA's product development and manufacturing teams have been
agile partners, enabling us to go from program kickoff to full vehicle
assembly in just six months," said John Krafcik, Chief Executive
Officer, Waymo. "They've been great partners, and we look forward to
continued teamwork with them as we move into 2017."
and FCA co-located part of their engineering teams 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.
"As consumers' transportation needs evolve, strategic collaborations
such as this one are vital to promoting a culture of innovation, safety
and technology," said Sergio Marchionne, Chief Executive Officer, FCA.
"Our partnership with Waymo enables FCA to directly address the
opportunities and challenges the automotive industry faces as we quickly
approach a future where fully self-driving vehicles are very much a part
of our daily lives."
Self-driving cars have the potential to prevent some of the 1.2 million
deaths that occur each year on roads worldwide, 94 percent of which are
caused by human error. This collaboration will help FCA and Waymo better
understand what it will take to bring self-driving cars into the world.