FCA and Waymo are expanding their autonomous driving partnership. Waymo will work exclusively with FCA as its preferred partner for the development and testing of class 1-3 light commercial vehicles. Waymo Via, which began goods delivery in 2017, will be an integral part of the development and testing process.
FCA became Waymo’s first OEM partner in 2016, integrating Waymo Driver into FCA vehicles like the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid.
“FCA was our first OEM partner and we’ve come a long way together,” explained John Krafcik, Chief Executive Officer, Waymo. “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.”
Waymo Driver & Ram ProMaster
FCA and Waymo say the expanded partnership will allow them to leverage their respective strengths to determine how to deploy autonomous solutions for commercial customers most effectively. The companies plan first to integrate Waymo Driver into the Ram ProMaster van and work forward from there.
“Our now four-year partnership with Waymo continues to break new ground,” said Mike Manley, Chief Executive Officer, FCA. “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.”
Focusing on Level 4 Capability
FCA has also selected Waymo as its exclusive strategic partner for Level 4 autonomous technology. The companies say they have already begun working together on future FCA products for the movement of people and goods operated by the Waymo Driver.
“We’re expanding our partnership with FCA with the Waymo Driver as the exclusive L4 autonomy solution for this global automotive company,” Krafcik continued. “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.”
“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,” Manley added.
In related news, Waymo recently announced a new strategic partnership with Volvo.