Waymo’s auto partner Fiat Chrysler has sent 100 modified Pacificas to them as part of the self-driving cars project that Waymo is now handling independently from Google and Alphabet. The hybrid minivans are like no other Pacificas in the market as they will form the first line of autonomous cars that come out of the project.
These cars were made at a facility in Michigan and a series of rigorous tests were conducted at the Chelsea Proving Grounds, Arizona Proving Grounds and at the California testing sites of Waymo.
They have been fitted with a modified chassis, customized electrical systems, a reworked powertrain and an overall redesigned structure from the original models. Now that they have the right base, Waymo will install their specialized computers, sensors, cameras, LiDAR, radar and such into the Chrysler minivans and turn them into fully autonomous, self-driving cars.
“As consumers’ transportation needs evolve, strategic collaborations such as this one are vital to promoting a culture of innovation, safety and technology.”
“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.”
- FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne
There has been an unconfirmed rumor lately that Waymo and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles might launch a shared cab service in the footsteps of Uber very soon. This business will reportedly help usher the autonomous-vehicle industry and may allow for the manufacturing of many more and much advanced self-driving cars in the near future.