Alphabet’s self-driving-car subsidiary, Waymo, has announced that it’s placed an order for “thousands” more Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans, to be outfitted for autonomous driving, as the company marches closer to launching a self-driving taxi service in certain localities later this year. In the past, Waymo tested its self-driving tech using its own “Firefly” prototypes and Lexus crossovers, but those have been all but supplanted by the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid.
“With the world’s first fleet of fully self-driving vehicles on the road, we’ve moved from research and development to operations and deployment,” Waymo CEO John Krafcik said in a statement. “These additional vehicles will help us scale.”
Waymo’s massive new order is good news for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles not only for the revenue, but because FCA has no apparent plans for an autonomous ride-hailing fleet of its own.
“In order to move quickly and efficiently in autonomy, it is essential to partner with like-minded technology leaders,” FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne said in a statement. “Our partnership with Waymo continues to grow and strengthen; this represents the latest sign of our commitment to this technology.”