Google’s subsidiary for self-driving technology, Waymo, says it has ordered “thousands” of autonomous vans based on FCA’s Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid. They will join the existing Waymo fleet by the end of 2018.
Since Google pooled its electric car activities in its subsidiary Waymo, they have been busy building the fleet. At the moment there are 600 hybrid mini vans equipped with Google self-driving tech. The pilot in Phoenix, Arizona allowed residents to apply via Waymo (we reported).
This new wave of thousands of autonomous Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid though are not for testing but destined to launch Waymo’s planned cab service for real. First in Phoenix and then in other towns. Delivery is scheduled for late 2018.
Waymo CEO John Krafcik said in a statement: “With the world’s first fleet of fully self-driving vehicles on the road, we’ve moved from research and development, to operations and deployment. The Pacifica Hybrid minivans offer a versatile interior and a comfortable ride experience, and these additional vehicles will help us scale.”
Waymo’s hybrid minivans attained Level 4 autonomy last November. The self-driving minivans are also running Waymo’s self-driving software, which has been tested over 4 million miles on the road and billions of miles in simulation, according to a statement by FCA.
Sergio Marchionne, FCA’s CEO commented on the new large order saying, “this represents the latest sign of our commitment to this technology.”