Waymo orders thousands of Chrysler Pacifica minivans for driverless ride-hailing service

Waymo orders thousands of Chrysler Pacifica minivans for driverless ride-hailing service

Phoenix operation could start later this year.

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Automation Cars/Light trucks Design

Auburn Hills, Michigan – FCA US LLC plans to supply thousands of Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans to Google’s Waymo autonomous vehicle company to support an upcoming driverless ride-hailing service.

FCA previously delivered 100 Pacifica Hybrid minivans, adapted for self-driving, to Waymo during the second half of 2016 and an additional 500 in 2017.

"In order to move quickly and efficiently in autonomy, it is essential to partner with like-minded technology leaders," says FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne.

Waymo plans to open its autonomous ride-hailing service to the public beginning in Phoenix, Arizona, this year. The additional Pacifica Hybrid minivans will be used to support Waymo as it expands its service to more cities across the United States. Waymo has officially tested its technology in 25 cities, including Atlanta, Georgia; San Francisco, California; Detroit, Michigan; Phoenix; and Kirkland, Washington.

"We've moved from research and development to operations and deployment," says Waymo CEO John Krafcik. "The Pacifica Hybrid minivans offer a versatile interior and a comfortable ride experience, and these additional vehicles will help us scale."

Last year, Waymo began test-driving a fleet of Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans on public roads without a driver at the wheel. With this technical milestone, the hybrid minivans became the first vehicle to attain Level 4 autonomy.

FCA autonomous