Chrysler Pacifica Influx May Herald Autonomous Vehicle Era
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has confirmed they will be providing a sizeable amount of Chrysler Pacifica minivans to Google's self-driving affiliate, Waymo, for its public road testing. This agreement is in addition to the 600-vehicle fleet the company has already given, further solidifying the joint endeavor created in 2016.
“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,” Waymo CEO John Krafcik states. “These additional vehicles will help us scale.”
While there is no specific number of automobiles that will be provided in the said agreement, Waymo said everything, including the volume and timeline, would rely heavily on the development of its self-driving pilots. It will be by the end of this year that FCA will provide the first batch of minivans.
The great thing about the Pacificas that FCA provides to the tech company is that they are specially created to work with Waymo's autonomous driving software and hardware. This joint venture may be the precursor to its planned commercial ride-hailing service.
The relationship between Waymo and FCA is one of a kind, such that FCA is the only automaker who partnered with the former. There are reports pertaining to talks with Ford Motor Co. and Honda Motor Co., although no agreements have emerged yet.