Waymo Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid
Waymo Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

Waymo launches self-driving Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid vans

Waymo self driving Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid
Waymo self-driving Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

Waymo will soon be taking members of the public for drives in its fleet of self-driving Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans.

The company, a spin off from Google, announced Tuesday that it will launch its early rider program in the Phoeniz, Arizona area.

Also Tuesday, FCA announced that it would supply Waymo with an additional 500 Pacifica Hybrids so the company can expand it’s self-driving program. Waymo already received 100 Pacifica Hybrid minivans in 2016.

FCA and Waymo have worked together to develop the self-driving Pacifica, with engineers from both companies collaborating on the project.

The Pacifica’s electrical, powertrain, chassis and structural systems were all modified to accommodate Waymo’s self-driving technology, FCA said in a statement.

The companies set up a facility in Michigan for the project, and testing was done at the Chelsea Proving Grounds in Chelsea, Mich., and the Arizona Proving Grounds in Yucca, Arizona. Waymo also conducted tests in California.

In all, there has been nearly 3 million miles of on-road testing conducted on the Pacifica.

“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,” Sergio Marchionne, chief executive officer of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said in a statement.

“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 Waymo CEO John Krafcik. “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.”

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