In May, Fiat Chrysler partnered with Google’s self-driving team (now called Waymo) to codevelop self-driving vehicle technology. Almost immediately, the two started tearing into a Pacifica Hybrid minivan, making modifications to allow the car to accommodate Google’s long list of sensors and computers. Now, after seven months, they’re done. Here’s a first look at a completed fully self-driving Chrysler minivan.
After announcing the partnership, engineers from Google and Fiat Chrysler moved in together in a facility in Novi, Michigan, where they all began nerding-out on how to modify Chrysler’s new 2017 Pacifica Hybrid to fit Google’s wiz-bang sensors, computers, telematics and other electronics.
The teams had to make changes to the minivan’s powertrain, chassis, and electrical systems to “optimize the Pacifica Hybrid for Waymo’s fully self-driving technology,” according to Fiat Chrysler, which so far doesn’t seem to have done relatively much by way of self-driving cars – although this would be a huge leap.
Now that’s done, and 100 Pacificas have made it through production, and are currently being outfitted with the full suite of Waymo’s self-driving gizmos. Here’s what they’ll look like when they’re done:
You can expect to see these things on the roads in a few months, and as this level of autonomous technology appears to be multiple generations in, we don’t think these will crash. We hope.