Google to Test Self-Driving Chrysler Pacifica Minivans
Photo of 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid courtesy of FCA.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' engineers will integrate Google's self-driving technology into the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan under a new partnership between the automaker and tech giant.
"Working with Google provides an opportunity for FCA to partner with one of the world’s leading technology companies to accelerate the pace of innovation in the automotive industry," said Sergio Marchionne, FCA's CEO.
Under the initiative, 100 Pacifica Hybrid prototypes will be added to the Google Self-Driving Car Project's test fleet.
FCA will initially design and engineer vehicles that have been built for Google's self-driving technology. Google will integrate a suite of sensors and computers that help the vehicles navigate roads autonomously.
The 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.
Google is testing its self-driving cars 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.
"The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan is well-suited for Google’s self-driving technology," said John Krafcik, CEO of the Google Self-Driving Car Project. "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."
Krafcik served as CEO for Hyundai until Dec. 27, 2013, when his contract was not renewed. In May of 2014, he was named president of Web-based dealer network TrueCar. He joined Google in September of 2015.