Google Expands Self-Driving Test with Chrysler Pacifica
May 18, 2016
Google and FCA are one step closer to making the concept of driverless cars a reality. The Google Self-Driving Car Project and FCA announced a first-of-its-kind collaboration which will integrate Google’s self-driving technology into select 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans. This marks the first time that Google has worked directly with an automaker to integrate its self-driving system, including its sensors and software, into a passenger vehicle.
The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans will be used later this year for Google’s self-driving testing, more than doubling Google’s current fleet of self-driving test vehicles. Engineering responsibilities will be shared based on each company’s respective expertise.
“FCA has a nimble and experienced engineering team and the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan is well-suited for Google’s self-driving technology,” John Krafcik, Chief Executive Officer, Google Self-Driving Car Project, said. “The opportunity to work closely with FCA engineers will accelerate our efforts to develop a fully self-driving car that will make our roads safer and bring everyday destinations within reach for those who cannot drive.”
FCA will initially design and engineer around 100 vehicles uniquely built for Google’s self-driving technology. Google will integrate the suite of sensors and computers that the vehicles will rely on to navigate roads autonomously.
The All-New 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Overview
Full array of comfort and convenience technologies available, including Stow ‘n Vac integrated vacuum, tri-pane panoramic sunroof, handsfree sliding doors and liftgate
2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid rearview
2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid (grill)
Gas-powered Pacifica model also benefits from segment-exclusive TorqueFlite nine-speed automatic transmission with e-shift technology
Designed by FCA US, the device features two electric motors – both of which are capable of driving the vehicle’s wheels
Both companies will co-locate part of their engineering teams at a facility in southeastern Michigan to accelerate the design, testing and manufacturing of the self-driving Chrysler Pacifica.
Self-driving cars have the potential to prevent some of the 33,000 deaths that occur each year on U.S. roads, 94 percent of which are caused by human error. This collaboration will help FCA and Google better understand what it will take to bring self-driving cars into the world.
Google’s self-driving cars are currently being tested in four U.S. cities. The self-driving Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans will be tested by Google’s self-driving car team on its private test track in California prior to operating on public roads.