Driverless cars on the roads are closer and closer to being a reality.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) announced an agreement to supply thousands of Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans to Waymo to support the launch of the world’s first driverless ride-hailing service.
The delivery of the vehicles will begin in late 2018 with Pacifica Hybrid minivans to be sent out across U.S. cities. Throughout the past two years, FCA has brought around 150 self-driving Pacifica Hybrid minivans to Waymo, which is owned by Google’s parent Alphabet.
Waymo is planning to open its autonomous ride-hailing service to the public starting in Phoenix this year. The vehicles have been tested in 25 cities across the U.S. with about 4 million miles of on-road testing. The hybrid minivan is the first vehicle to attain Level 4 autonomy, a classification determined by the Society of Automotive Engineers, according to an announcement.
“In order to move quickly and efficiently in autonomy, it is essential to partner with like-minded technology leaders, our partnership with Waymo continues to grow and strengthen; this represents the latest sign of our commitment to this technology,” said Sergio Marchionne the chief executive officer of FCA.
“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 chief executive officer.