Waymo ramps up self-driving fleet with 'thousands' of cars

January 30, 2018
John Krafcik, CEO of Waymo, is seen at the 2017 North American International Auto Show with a customized Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid used for its autonomous ridesharing service

Former Google car unit Waymo said Tuesday it was ordering "thousands" of vehicles from Fiat Chrysler for the expansion of its autonomous ride-hailing service across several US cities.

Waymo, a unit of Google parent Alphabet, said the additional Chrysler Pacifica vehicles to be delivered from late 2018 will be used for expanding its self-driving taxi program, which is launching this year in Phoenix, Arizona.

A statement from FCA and Waymo offered no details on timing or location but noted that the self-driving cars have been tested in 25 US cities including Atlanta, San Francisco, Detroit and Kirkland, Washington.

"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," said John Krafcik, Waymo's .

"The Pacifica Hybrid minivans offer a versatile interior and a comfortable ride experience, and these additional vehicles will help us scale."

Waymo previously ordered 100 of the FCA vehicles in 2016 and another 500 last year as part of a collaboration to build at scale using hardware and software from the technology group.

The companies said they have used the vehicles in more than four million miles (6.4 million kilometers) of on-road testing, and billions of miles in simulations.

"In order to move quickly and efficiently in autonomy, it is essential to partner with like-minded technology leaders," said Sergio Marchionne, FCA's chief executive.

"Our partnership with Waymo continues to grow and strengthen; this represents the latest sign of our commitment to this technology."

The expansion is the latest in a race for leadership in autonomous ridesharing, which involves most major automakers, developers and services such as Uber and Lyft.

Explore further: Google and AutoNation partner on self-driving car program

Related Stories

Recommended for you

1 in 3 Michigan workers tested opened fake 'phishing' email

March 16, 2018

Michigan auditors who conducted a fake "phishing" attack on 5,000 randomly selected state employees said Friday that nearly one-third opened the email, a quarter clicked on the link and almost one-fifth entered their user ...

Origami-inspired self-locking foldable robotic arm

March 15, 2018

A research team of Seoul National University led by Professor Kyu-Jin Cho has developed an origami-inspired robotic arm that is foldable, self-assembling and also highly-rigid. (The researchers include Suk-Jun Kim, Dae-Young ...

Tokyo Tech's six-legged robots get closer to nature

March 12, 2018

A study led by researchers at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) has uncovered new ways of driving multi-legged robots by means of a two-level controller. The proposed controller uses a network of so-called non-linear ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.