Google's new Waymo unit announced that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) completed the production of the first 100 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans with full self-driving capability. The new model looks less weird than the previous Google self-driving car, but the design is still far from what I would call "production-ready" as all the sensory equipment is basically "bolted" onto the car. Full details in this press release.
This first-of-its kind collaboration brought engineers from FCA and Waymo together to integrate Waymo's fully self-driving system into the all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan thereby leveraging each company's individual strengths and resources. Engineering modifications to the minivan's electrical, powertrain, chassis and structural systems were implemented to optimize the Pacifica Hybrid for Waymo's fully self-driving technology.
"The Pacifica Hybrid will be a great addition to our fully self-driving test fleet. FCA's product development and manufacturing teams have been agile partners, enabling us to go from program kickoff to full vehicle assembly in just six months," said John Krafcik, Chief Executive Officer, Waymo. "They've been great partners, and we look forward to continued teamwork with them as we move into 2017."