Waymo and FCA US LLC just declared that there are going to grow their strategic partnership, agreeing to increase Waymo's current fleet of autonomous cars by 62,000 Chrysler Pacific Hybrid vans. This new expansion adds to an already existing agreement between the two, which was announced in January, and will add thousands of new cars to Waymo's autonomous car fleet. The new minivans should begin arriving sometime later in 2018
FCA US and Waymo also announced today that they are beginning discussions about the use of Waymo self-driving technology, including potentially through licensing, in a FCA-manufactured vehicle available to retail customers.
"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."
Currently, Waymo is 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. The first-of-its-kind collaboration brought engineers from FCA and Waymo together to integrate Waymo's fully self-driving system into the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan, leveraging each company's individual strengths and resources. 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.
The autonomous Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid van is currently one of the leading cards driving around today, they contain Waymo's autonomous driving program, along with an advanced series of hardware and software that already has over 6 million miles of testing on roads today. To this day, the FCA has already given 600 Pacifica Hybrid vans to Waymo.
Edited by K Fanning
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