The autonomous Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid developed by Waymo, Google’s self-driving car division, and Fiat Chrysler (FCA) has been revealed.
These first images of the new autonomous Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, released overnight, come just over seven months after Google and FCA announced that they would team up to develop a fleet of 100 self-driving vehicles for the search giant’s on-going research and development.
The heavily modified Pacifica people mover features a sled on the roof that houses telematics, cameras and other equipment. There are also pods at the rear, sides and front of the car for various sensors and detection equipment. Also housed on-board is a purpose built computer.
According to FCA, the self-driving plug-in hybrid Pacifica models also incorporate modifications to its electrical, drivetrain, chassis and structure in order to optimise their operation with Waymo’s autonomous driving software.
The self-driving Pacific people movers will join Waymo’s test fleet from early 2017, with a total of 100 set to be delivered by the end of the project.
Last week, Google announced that it would be moving its self-driving car project into a new wholly owned company, Waymo. This is seen as Google’s first step in trying to monetise its autonomous vehicle research.
At last week’s Waymo launch, the search giant seemingly confirmed reports that it was no longer considering building its own self-driving cars from the ground up, with Waymo CEO, Jon Krafcik, telling reporters: “We are a self-driving technology company.
“We’ve made it pretty clear we are not a car company … We’re not in the business of making better cars, we’re in the business of making better drivers. We’re a self-driving technology company.”
Rumours also emerged last week that Google and FCA are planning to launch an automated taxi service by the end of 2017.