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Waymo buying more Pacificas

by David Zatz on

Waymo will buy thousands more Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans, after buying a batch of one hundred in 2016 and five hundred more in 2017. The plug-in hybrid minivans will be used to launch the world’s first driverless ride-hailing service.

FCA billed their work with Waymo as the first of its kind. Other autonomous-vehicle companies have purchased cars and SUVs from a wide range of companies, but don’t appear to have actually worked with engineering teams at those companies to transform them. The hybrid minivans became the first to attain Level 4 autonomy, according to Waymo.

The minivans are equipped with lidar and extra sensors, to avoid the kind of crashes associated with Tesla’s “AutoPilot.”

Waymo, originally a Google project, is part of the Alphabet holding company.

Waymo’s first public autonomous ride-hailing service is set to start in Phoenix this year; the expansion fleet of Pacifica Hybrid minivans will support the service in more cities.

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