FCA US LLC and Waymo announced on May 31st that they will expand their partnership with an agreement to add up to 62,000 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans to Waymo’s self-driving fleet. The expansion follows and announcement of an agreement made in January, by which FCA was meant deliver thousands of vehicles to Waymo’s driverless transportation service. According to FCA US the Vehicle delivery is expected to begin in late 2018.
FCA US and Waymo are in discussions about using Waymo self-driving technology in a car made by FCA for consumers.
“FCA is committed to bringing self-driving technology to our customers in a manner that is safe, efficient and realistic,” said Sergio Marchionne, Chief Executive Officer, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. “Strategic partnerships, such as the one we have with Waymo, will help to drive innovative technology to the forefront.”
Waymo, which was established by Alphabet Inc. to expand the Google Car operations, is currently the only company with a fleet of fully self-driving cars, with no one in the driver seat, on public roads. Later this year, Waymo will launch the world’s first self-driving transportation service, allowing the public to use Waymo’s app to request a vehicle.
“Waymo’s goal from day one has been to build the world’s most experienced driver and give people access to self-driving technology that will make our roads safer,” said John Krafcik, CEO of Waymo. “We’re excited to deepen our relationship with FCA that will support the launch of our driverless service, and explore future products that support Waymo’s mission.”
FCA and Waymo first announced their partnership in May 2016, with a goal to integrate Waymo’s fully self-driving system into the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan. Since then, FCA and Waymo engineers have continued working together to support Waymo’s expansion and to evolve the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan with self-driving technology.
In a statement FCA said that: “The self-driving Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans are one of the most advanced vehicles on the road today, equipped with Waymo’s self-driving system, including a powerful hardware suite and software honed over 6 million miles of on-road testing”.
To date, FCA has delivered 600 Pacifica Hybrid minivans to Waymo.