Waymo Pacifica will be releasing its own fleet of 100 driverless cars as it will be testing and developing self-driving vehicles so as to be more environmentally adapted.
The road to self-driving cars is getting more crowded. At the same time, it is also getting closer. Waymo, a new-old competitor will be releasing a new set of such cars.
Waymo is perhaps better known under its former name. It is the Google self-driving car project. This was renamed sometime last week with its current title.
The project was initiated in 2009 by Google. Since then, it developed into an independent company. Waymo is, nonetheless, owned by Alphabet Inc., Google’s parent company.
The company is based in California. Its mission is to ensure safe but easy self-driving vehicle solutions. Waymo is planning on making the self-driving vehicles available to the public. They have a 2020 target.
To this effect, Waymo will start building its fleet of cars. It has partnered up with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles or FCA. FCA is the United States-based company subsidiary. It was formerly known as Chrysler LLC.
The Waymo-FCA collaboration led to the appearance of their first vehicle. This is the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid. Also known as the Waymo Pacifica, it is a fully self-driving car.
John Krafcik, the Waymo chief executive officer, went to offer a statement. According to him, the Pacifica Hybrid will be a great addition. It could come to complete the company’s fully self-driving fleet.
Krafcik pointed out FCA’s great help. Their manufacturing and product development teams seem to have been important partners. The project was kicked into high speed with their help.
The time span between program kick-off and full vehicle assembly was quite quick. Just six months passed in between the two points.
FCA also offered some details. In an official release, they revealed that the production of the Pacifica Hybrid has been completed. 100 such Waymo Pacifica Hybrid cars are and will be produced.
They will be built specifically so as to accommodate Waymo’s tech. The fully self-driving technology will include many features. Its main components include a purpose-built computer. Telematics and a suite of sensors will also be included.
The 100 new vehicles are expected to be released quite soon. They should be joining Waymo’s self-driving fleet sometime in early 2017.
FCA’s Waymo Pacifica Hybrids feature a special set of modifications. These target its structural and chassis systems. The electrical and powertrain systems were also modified and adapted.
Fully self-driving Pacifica Hybrids passed through a series of tests. They were driven at the FCA Chelsea Proving Grounds, based in Michigan. Arizona Proving Grounds tests were also carried out. Waymo proceeded with tests on its own sites based in California.
Sergio Marchionne of FCA also offered comments on the matter. According to him, the Waymo Pacifica and the partnership, in general, is a great chance. Through it, the car maker can address the automotive industry’s potential future.
Marchionne considers self-driving vehicles a challenge and an opportunity. He believes that such cars may soon become a common occurrence. More exactly, a usual part of our daily lives.
FCA Waymo Pacifica vehicles will be part of a trial program. This sets out to offer a better environmental integration. More exactly, it wants to offer self-driving cars the opportunity to learn.
Placed in real-world situations, they will be better integrated. As such, they will also have a better on-road driver behavior understanding.
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