FCA and Waymo have announced that they’re finally getting together for a little autonomous vehicle development. FCA has started production 100 unique Chrysler Pacifica Hybrids for Waymo’s autonomous vehicle project. Waymo, if you haven’t heard that name previously is the Alphabet, Inc. (formerly Google) division responsible for the company’s self-driving vehicle project, headed by auto industry veteran John Krafcik.
These aren’t standard Pacifica Hybrids, which is already the benchmark in the segment, but rather had their electrical, chassis, and powertrain systems optimized for the Waymo application. As you can see in the accompanying images, the vehicles look like a normal Pacificas with a bunch of Waymo sensors and other bits tacked on.
Both FCA and Waymo have been talking about working together on this project for a few months already, and this partnership with Waymo may very well give FCA a leg up on the autonomous vehicle competition. FCA’s future is definitely looking more interesting.
At VVUZZ we live to drive, but also appreciate that there are those who would rather not, based on their driving behaviour, and we’re looking forward for some of those drivers to turn in their licences for an autonomous vehicle.
These fully autonomous Waymo-Chrysler Pacifica Hybrids will be on the road for testing in early 2017.
Images courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.