Waymo orders 'thousands' of more self-driving Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans

Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivan that's party of Waymo's fleet

Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivan that's party of Waymo's fleet

Waymo, Alphabet's autonomous vehicle unit, is ramping up plans to deploy a fleet of self-driving minivans as the company pushes toward the launch of a ride-hailing service later this year.

Waymo is set to open its autonomous ride-hailing service to the public beginning in Phoenix this year.

The Pacificas that FCA supplies to the tech company are specifically created to integrate Waymo's autonomous driving hardware and software.

Waymo announced the deal (via The Verge) with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles on Tuesday, though did not specify the quantity beyond an order for "thousands" of more vehicles.

"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, CEO of Waymo. Engineers of the two companies have designed a self-driving vehicle based on the minivan, testing of which began in November on public roads without a driver at the wheel. Following the retirement of the original "Firefly" prototype, the Pacifica serves as Waymo's primary vehicle with testing in 25 US cities, most recently San Francisco and Atlanta.

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