Debut for Fiat’s autonomous car: here’s Google’s Waymo minivan

After giving up on the fully autonomous car project and the presentation of Waymo, Google continues to invest in the automotive sector with Fiat

Google's "race" towards the release of a car equipped with autopilot is enriched with a new piece. If in the first part of December 2016, the Mountain View company closed the chapter "cars without pedals or steering wheel" and opened the Waymo one, in the second part of the month it concretized the partnership with Fiat.

The two companies, with two separate press releases, announced that they had concluded the "factory" experimentation of the Chrysler Pacifica self-driving minivans, which will now be able to "go down" on the road and accumulate thousands and thousands of kilometers of testing. The goal of Google and FCA is to create a fleet of vehicles that can move autonomously in city traffic and create an alternative car sharing service to Uber. The road, it must be said, is still very long and the success of this venture will depend almost exclusively on the successes reported in the coming months.

Modified version

The self-driving hybrid cars made by Fiat Chrysler in collaboration with Google have little to do with the Chrysler Pacifica usually circulating on the streets of North America. The minivan underwent heavy "plastic surgery" operations so that it would be possible to implant inside it the technology and telemetry needed to equip it with autopilot. Chrysler modified the electrical system, the distribution system and part of the chassis to house a real computer, equipped with an operating system and software capable of collecting, cataloging and analyzing information from the external environment through various sensors and cameras.