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Waymo to add up to 62,000 Chrysler Pacifica plug-in hybrids to self-driving fleet; potential licensing deal for Waymo tech

FCA US and Waymo will expand their partnership with an agreement to add up to 62,000 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans to Waymo’s self-driving fleet. To date, FCA has delivered 600 Pacifica Hybrid minivans to Waymo.

This new agreement builds upon a previous commitment, announced in January, to deliver thousands of vehicles to Waymo’s driverless transportation service. Vehicle delivery is expected to begin in late 2018.

FCA US and Waymo also are beginning discussions about the use of Waymo self-driving technology, including potentially through licensing, in a FCA-manufactured vehicle available to retail customers.

Currently, Waymo is the only company with a fleet of fully self-driving cars, with no one in the driver seat, on public roads. Later this year, Waymo will launch the the first self-driving transportation service, allowing the public to use Waymo’s app to request a vehicle.

FCA and Waymo first announced their partnership in May 2016. The first-of-its-kind collaboration brought engineers from FCA and Waymo together to integrate Waymo’s fully self-driving system into the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan, leveraging each company’s individual strengths and resources. Since then, FCA and Waymo engineers have continued working together to support Waymo’s expansion and to evolve the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan with self-driving technology.

Comments

mahonj

This is BIG NEWS.
62000 is a large number of cars to join a program and a licensing deal for the Waymo tech is also a big deal.
It remains to be seen how it will work out for FCA, but if I was a mid ranking car company, I would try to get a deal with waymo.
I wonder will the licensed systems require Lidar - if so, it will increase the cost a deal - have to wait and see.

HarveyD

The technologies used/needed for ADVs will evolve rapidly and associated cost will be reduced as more and more vehicles are equipped.

The first 100,000 to 500,000 vehicles equipped with driverless equipment may cost $5K+ more but the extra cost will be greatly reduced by 2020+.

Davemart

mahonj, harvey.

The vehicles Waymo are using are loaded, and not just with LIDAR, although that alone still costs many thousands:
https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2017/01/self-driving-minivans-from-google.html

At the moment they can work financially for companies, rather than individuals, but the cost will decline sharply.

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