FCA, Waymo to build autonomous vans

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FCA and Waymo announced they’re expanding their autonomous driving partnership by building and testing self-driving Ram ProMaster vans for the growing P&D market.

Waymo will now work exclusively with FCA as its preferred partner for the development and testing of Class 1-3 light Ram commercial vans for goods movement for commercial delivery customers including Waymo Via. The two companies will work together to integrate Waymo’s driverless system, Waymo Driver, into the Ram ProMaster.

“Our now four-year partnership with Waymo continues to break new ground,” says Mike Manley, FCA CEO. “Incorporating the Waymo Driver, the world’s leading self-driving technology, into our Pacifica minivans, we became the only partnership actually deploying fully autonomous technology in the real world, on public roads.

“With this next step, deepening our relationship with the very best technology partner in this space, we’re turning to the needs of our commercial customers by jointly enabling self-driving for light commercial vehicles, starting with the Ram ProMaster,” Manley says. “Adding Waymo’s commitment to partner with us to deploy its L4 fully autonomous technology across our entire product portfolio, our partnership is setting the pace for the safe and sustainable mobility solutions that will help define the automotive world in the years and decades to come.”

FCA selected Waymo as its exclusive, strategic partner for Level IV autonomous technology across the FCA fleet and has been working with Waymo to imagine future FCA products for the movement of people and goods operated by Waymo Driver.

“FCA was our first OEM partner, and we’ve come a long way together,” says Waymo CEO John Krafcik. “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.

“Today, we’re expanding our partnership with FCA with the Waymo Driver as the exclusive L4 autonomy solution for this global automotive company,” Krafcik says. “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.”

FCA became Waymo’s first OEM partner in 2016. Since then, the two companies have worked closely to integrate the Waymo Driver into FCA vehicles and made history in the Level IV self-driving Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan.

According to FCA, their partnership with Waymo led to the first commercial autonomous ride-hailing service, including the offering of fully driverless service to riders, as well as driving in dozens of cities across diverse geographies and challenging weather conditions.

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