Google Debuts Self-Driving Chrysler Minivan Models

The Chrysler Pacifica got overhauled by Google’s newest vehicle division known as Waymo. It is another addition to the line of self-driving cars backed by Google. With pure electric the hybrid minivan can go up to 30 miles. The minivan has custom sensors also featured on the Lexus SUV model and other self-driving vehicles created by Google. The minivan was a collaboration with Fiat Chrysler and the engineering team from Waymo. The designing took place in a Michigan area facility.

Not the Ordinary Soccer Mom Van

One look at the Google Waymo Chrysler Pacifica self-driving minivan and you will instantly see it is not the soccer van mom drives to pick up the kids. The minivan has been a work in progress with fast results. The makers say it took roughly 6 to 7 months to come up with the concept for the car. By the end of the year Google was ready to unveil the creation. Earlier in 2016 information leaked about the minivan but later was confirmed by Google.

With over 200 hours of extreme weather testing under its belt, the minivan seems ready to hit the road for the long term. Weather testing was completed in Michigan, California, and Arizona. The minivan includes technology with improved safety measures. Aspects of testing the vehicle included making lane changes with other self-driving vehicles. The results, compared with other self-driving vehicles, draw a comparison of lane changing abilities among other types of self- driving cars including the Lexus RX450 SUVs.

You can say this minivan had an extreme makeover. The creators did modifications to many parts of the vehicle including the structural system, electrical, chassis and powertrain. The van was modified to accommodate the additional weight and energy of devices included by Google. The Waymo is on the road in test markets giving creators more information about who would be interested in the van. The test market includes people young and old and groups.

Partnerships Are Vital

Google has a line of self-driving cars due to its many partnerships with vehicle manufacturers. Fiat Chrysler played a significant role in helping this concept become a reality. According to Sergio Marchionne, Chrysler CEO, also states the significance of partnering with Google to create an innovative product that will impact how people live in the future. He added that self- driving cars might become a big part of daily living. It seems automakers will be closer to producing mass numbers of self-driving vehicles in general soon, but it may be sooner than they think.

Reports claim about 100 of the modified Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivans is ready to be test driven in designated markets in 2017. The vans were built at Fiat Chrysler’s assembly plant in Ontario. Plans are still in the works about whether the vehicle or technology designed specifically for this vehicle will be available to the public. It is unknown if the technology used to create the van will be utilized by other automakers.

What Are People Saying about the Minivan?

The Waymo has people talking with opinions all over the place. Some feel the minivan has an interesting look despite its extras making it look somewhat bulky on the outside. Others say they are not so sure about the idea of a self-driving minivan but are willing to learn more about it and see what happens with this model. For some, the idea of a self-driving car is something people may not be ready for despite all the technology and testing. With so many unanswered questions about the self-driving car there is still plenty of things to learn to get people prepared for them.