As we get fully self-driving cars ready for the road, we’ll need more types of vehicles to refine and test our advanced driving software. That’s why in May we teamed up with FCA to work on adding 100 self-driving Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans to Waymo’s fleet. With this great new minivan on the road in our test markets, we’ll learn how people of all ages, shapes, and group sizes experience our fully self-driving technology.
Today, we’re sharing a first look at the completed vehicles, equipped with our latest Waymo self-driving technology, including our suite of updated sensors, all-new computer and other major system updates.
Over the last six months, the joint program team has been working to design and engineer the modifications to the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid that would allow us to integrate our new fully self-driving systems. Using several of our early prototype minivans, we’ve already run a gamut of tests, including over 200 hours of extreme-weather testing. Before starting production in October, we’d put these early vehicles through their paces at our own test track in California, and FCA’s Chelsea Proving Grounds in Chelsea, MI and their Arizona Proving Grounds in Yucca, AZ.
Getting from program kickoff to production and full vehicle assembly in half a year is a testament to the strong teamwork and collaboration between FCA and Waymo engineers. We’re looking forward to having these new vehicles on public roads in 2017.