FCA supplies Google's Waymo car brand with 100 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid MPVs to test autonomous technology; the new cars will more than double Google's existing test fleet
Sam Sheehan
19 December 2016

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has supplied Google's Waymo car brand with 100 new Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid MPVs that have been specially adapted for autonomous car technology.

The Pacifica models more than double Waymo's test fleet and have been purpose-built to incorporate the firm's existing autonomous hardware with a unique computer, sensors and telematics. They'll be used for testing and development of autonomous software and hardware from the start of 2017.

“The Pacifica Hybrid will be a great addition to our fully self-driving test fleet," said John Krafcik, CEO of Waymo. "FCA’s product development and manufacturing teams have been agile partners, enabling us to go from programme kick-off to full vehicle assembly in just six months."

“As consumers’ transportation needs evolve, strategic collaborations such as this one are vital to promoting a culture of innovation, safety and technology,” said FCA boss Sergio Marchionne. “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.”

Reports from earlier in 2016 suggested this partnership will eventually result in Fiat Chrysler production models from brands such as Jeep, Alfa Romeo and Maserati featuring autonomous technology developed by Waymo. Parent company Google is widely acknowledged as being at the forefront of autonomous systems development, so this partnership with its sub-brand could push FCA to the front of the race to produce a production autonomous vehicle.

Much like the development Pacificas, it is thought future production cars would be developed by FCA to incorporate Google’s tech, which could also be sold as an off-the-shelf product to other brands in much the same way that Apple already supplies its CarPlay software to a large number of car makers.

Google has previously held talks with General Motors, but that deal reportedly came to a close after the two brands couldn’t agree who would legally own the software data. Ford also held talks with Google last year, but nothing official has been announced since.

Google joined forces with four other brands including Ford and Uber earlier this year to encourage governments to create legislation to help with the introduction of autonomous cars.

Read more about autonomous cars:

Google reveals 13 near misses in two months for its self-driving cars

Fiat Chrysler cautious over electric vehicles and autonomous cars

Google autonomous vehicle crash - are we ready for self-driving cars?

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Comments
9

29 April 2016
but Google could probably buy FCA with this morning's profits.

29 April 2016
I'm all for autonomous cars (potentially the only way we can increase traffic density/flow and keep personal transport, otherwise it's the bus for everyone!) BUT FIAT AND CHRYSLER - 2 companies with awful track records in electronic and software systems reliability!

 

 

 

29 April 2016
Excellent. What a superb idea: a car that know that as soon as it's left the dealership it will be able to drive directly back to the factory for a series of fixes and recalls....all on its own !! Future owners of FCA products will need never worry again.....

BertoniBertone

29 April 2016
Not only content with reading your emails now they'll know where you've been and where you're going. I find only Apple are more contemptuous.

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

29 April 2016
I still cannot see any reason to buy self driving cars, which will be relatively expensive, and spend most of its life in a Car Park or on the drive.

If I was operating a subscription based car sharing scheme, where vehicles are summoned on demand, or if i was taxi firm owner looking to adapt to new technologies and firing all there drivers then the extra purchase costs would be more than offset reduced operational costs .

That is of course if it is really capable of driving itself unattended, which the first gen machines will not be able to do, technically or legally.

The benefits will be huge. Less material and energy used to make less vehicles. Greater utilisation of the vehicles in service. Roads will be less congested. The vehicles will be bought for efficiency and running costs, not the badge on the bonnet or brake horse power. And there should be less accidents, but there will of course be some as nothing is perfect, but far more consistent and reliable than humans who are susceptible to stupid lapses of concentration far more frequently than is good. And that includes me :)

The downside will be most car manufacturers will go bankrupt and anyone in a driving profession will be effectively redundant. But then we don't have people making a living by collecting horse manure from the streets anymore, so we will survive and find something more productive to do.

1 May 2016
The freedom of movement the car has brought to us is one of the greatest luxuries we have. Driverless cars will end that freedom and give total control of the population's movements. The car won't go anywhere unless Big Brother says it's ok. Not to mention that the largest part of the recreational use of cars is the sheer pleasure of driving them. Gone. For ever. The lefties have been dreaming of taking this freedom from us for decades, and now we are allowing them to do so. The first driverless model to reach the market ought to be named the Orwell.

I don't need to put my name here, it's on the left

 

6 May 2016
It's a good thing that there are more cars joining Google's test fleet. With all the hype on the car and how it's going to run on our streets, better that they are able to get a wider range of vehicles and different environments to ensure that they are properly running in each and every situation. After all, it would be catastrophic if something were to happen and they found out it was because they weren't testing rigorously enough. Well. we'll just have to see how things pan out once they start releasing the cars soon.

17 February 2017
The concept of a driverless car is introducing by Google and later other vehicle manufacturing companies are following the same footstep. The only question arises that does driverless cars are able to fulfill the desired needs of the customers and does it provide enough safety to the user. Google is now tie up with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to bring 100 driverless cars in the world market. This joint venture will be beneficial for automobile sector.

5 May 2017
Yes the idea of Driverless cars are really good, i am also waiting for this Driverless cars.

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