• Image Credit: FCA
  • Image Credit: FCA
  • Image Credit: FCA
  • Image Credit: FCA
  • Image Credit: FCA
  • Image Credit: FCA
For the time being, this is what Google's self-driving car project will look like: FCA is delivering 100 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrids to Google's Waymo self-driving offshoot. According to FCA, the Pacificas are currently being outfitted with Waymo's autonomity equipment, and testing will commence early next year. The setup includes sensors and on-board telematics, and there will be changes made to the vehicle's powertrain and electrics to help it function better as an autonomous vehicle.

It's closer to a Jurassic Park style Ford Explorer than something built completely from scratch, but using a minivan platform has helped the project advance rather rapidly. John Krafcik, the CEO of Waymo says that FCA's product development and manufacturing teams have helped them greatly: "FCA's product development and manufacturing teams have been agile partners, enabling us to go from program kickoff to full vehicle assembly in just six months", says Krafcik. In addition to Waymo's test facilities in California, the initial Pacificas have been tried and tested at FCA's proving grounds in Michigan and Arizona. The modifications have been tailored at a joint effort powerhouse in southeastern Michigan.

The production Pacifica Hybrid is rated at 84 MPG3 by the EPA. The plug-in hybrid powertrain consists of a 3.6-liter Pentastar unit converted to an Atkinson cycle and a 16kWh Lithium-ion battery.

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