Fiat Chrysler and Google begin public rides in autonomous vehicles

Published: April 25, 2017

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones

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Fiat Chrysler and Google are expanding their autonomous vehicle partnership and will be offering rides to the public in self-driving vehicles for the first time. The companies have been working to this goal since the first half of 2016, when the collaboration started.

The two companies confirmed they will build 100 self-driving Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivans, which were tested in Arizona, California, and Michigan. The companies are leveraging Google’s Waymo autonomous technology, which will allow people to test the vehicles and provide valuable feedback to the project.

Testing will be taking play in the Phoenix area and applications can be made on the Waymo website. The Pacifica hybrid fleet will be expanded to 500 units through this phase.

Google’s Waymo project was introduced in 2009 and has already been through a live testing phase. Google has tested the vehicles with human passengers at its Mountain View headquarters in California. In 2015, the project also navigated safely through the city of Austin, Texas, with a blind man as a passenger.

“This collaboration is helping both companies learn how to bring self-driving cars to market, and realize the safety and mobility benefits of this technology,” said Waymo chief John Krafcik in a company release.