Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Waymo have extended their four-year-old partnership, and have planned to integrate Waymo Driver in the Ram ProMaster van with the L-4 technology.
“Together, we’ll introduce the Waymo Driver throughout the FCA brand portfolio, opening up new frontiers for ride-hailing, commercial delivery, and personal-use vehicles around the world,” said CEO of Waymo, John Krafcik, on its long-term partnership with Fiat Chrysler Automobile.
Both the companies are genuinely focusing on developing and testing Waymo’ technology on class 1-3 light commercial vehicles for the movement of goods, which will also include Waymo Via. The Ram ProMaster provides a highly configurable platform that enables the technology to get greater demographic access to global consumers. “FCA has selected Waymo as its exclusive, strategic technology partner for L4 fully self-driving technology across FCA’s full product portfolio.”
In 2016, FCA became the official and first OEM partner with Waymo, and they have been growing ever since. Both companies are working together in synergy to make the automation in the automobile industry a reality with the testing and successful implementation of Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans, which completed 5 million miles in February 2018 visiting 25 cities like Michigan, San Francisco, Greater Phoenix, and many more, experiencing every terrain and environmental condition. “The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans were the first vehicles in our Waymo One fleet, and, guided by the Waymo Driver, have now safely and reliably driven more fully autonomous miles than any other vehicle on the planet,” mentioned by Krafcik on FCA Pacifica’s performance with Waymo Driver.
“This partnership will allow FCA and Waymo to leverage their respective strengths and competencies to determine how to effectively utilize autonomy to address the specific needs of commercial customers given the rapid growth of goods delivery services,” FCA stated in their official press release.
With the on-going pandemic, industries have realized the importance of automation and commercial delivery vehicles in the delivery of goods. Various automotive companies have prioritized their automation projects and are currently testing them on a large scale. Having said that, numerous other competitors, like Aurora, are also prioritizing their fleet testing in various regions of the USA, including Texas and Arizona.
Waymo’s parent, Alphabet, invested $1 billion in the organization along with $3 billion from outside investors. However, not much about the release date of the vehicle or the monetary details are disclosed to the public yet.