FCA US LLC announced today an agreement to supply thousands of Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans to Waymo to support the launch of the world’s first driverless ride-hailing service.
FCA previously delivered 100 Pacifica Hybrid minivans, adapted for self-driving, to Waymo during the second half of 2016 and an additional 500 in 2017. This first-of-its-kind collaboration between Waymo and FCA engineers enabled the teams to design a self-driving vehicle built on a mass production platform.
“In order to move quickly and efficiently in autonomy, it is essential to partner with like-minded technology leaders,” said Sergio Marchionne, Chief Executive Officer, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. “Our partnership with Waymo continues to grow and strengthen; this represents the latest sign of our commitment to this technology.”
Waymo is set to open its autonomous ride-hailing service to the public beginning in Phoenix this year. The additional Pacifica Hybrid minivans will be used to support Waymo as it expands its service to more cities across the United States. Waymo has officially tested its technology in 25 cities across the U.S., including Atlanta, San Francisco, Metro Detroit, Phoenix and Kirkland, Washington.
The Chrysler brand will be a new sponsor for the National PTA and will be launching a new fundraising program with this news.
The new program is called “Cars 4 Classrooms” initiative and will be giving the opportunity to local PTAs and schools across the nation to make test drive fundraising events. These events will feature both the Chrysler Pacifica Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid. For every participant that takes a test drive in the Pacifica, Chrysler will donate $10 to the school.
“The Chrysler brand and its dealer network have worked with families and educators on test drive fundraisers in communities across America for more than 25 years,” said Tim Kuniskis, Head of FCA’s Passenger Cars in North America. “Through our partnership with National PTA, the goal is to give every school in every community the opportunity to thrive. Every test drive in the all-new Chrysler Pacifica will help initiatives like after-school programs, new playground and technology updates.”
The Chrysler Pacifica has been consistently awarded for its various features since it has been released. It’s the new age of the minivan with the Pacifica leading the charge and few vehicles have been as universally awarded in such a short amount of time. The Pacifica has another award to add to the shelf, but this one is for an achievement the minivan pulled off that doesn’t get much buzz. The Pacifica made an achievement in weight reduction.
The fifth annual Altair Enlighten Awards have awarded the Pacifica for innovation in automotive lightweighting.
“The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica is a testament to our team’s engineering capability. It’s not only lighter than the vehicle it replaced; it’s longer, wider and more efficient. The Pacifica has also earned superior safety ratings and widespread media acclaim. We are proud to add the Altair Enlighten Award to its list of team achievements.”
The Pacifica was able to reduce its weight with a blend of high-strength steel, aluminum, and magnesium in its body structure that is nearly 250 pounds lighter than the model it is replacing. This helps the Pacifica have an improved fuel economy on the highway and does not sacrifice safety.