Will Autonomous Self-Driving Chrysler Pacificas come to Kirkland?
Waymo’s Autonomous Self-Driving Service
Kirkland, Washington could soon find itself as the home of Waymo’s new autonomous self-driving taxi service. Waymo is a self-driving technology company that aims to improve transportation options for people all around the world. Waymo has been building and improving their self-driving autonomous vehicles with help from software and sensor technology developed by Google. Waymo offers the most advanced autonomous driving systems with over 4 million miles driven on public roads in 25 U.S. cities.
Waymo announced its first autonomous ride-hailing service this year in Phoenix, Arizona. With a successful launch of this program they will be expanding the services to the 25 U.S. cities in which the system has been extensively tested. One of the top cities that have been included in these extensive autonomous driving tests is Kirkland, Washington. A successful roll out in Phoenix would mean the introduction of their autonomous ride-hailing service in other cities, and Kirkland, Washington could be next.
Chrysler has partnered with Waymo and provided over 500 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrids converted for the self-driving autonomous ride-hailing service. This first-of-its-kind collaboration will allow engineers to design a self-driving vehicle built on a mass production platform.
“In order to move quickly and efficiently in autonomy, it is essential to partner with like-minded technology leaders,” said Sergio Marchionne, Chief Executive Officer, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. “Our partnership with Waymo continues to grow and strengthen; this represents the latest sign of our commitment to this technology.”
The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is the first vehicle ever to be classified as a Level 4 autonomous vehicle by the Society of Automotive Engineers. The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is the most advanced autonomous vehicle in the industry. With the partnership between Waymo and Chrysler the new autonomous ride-hailing service will be the most advanced and reliable system to date.
“With the world’s first fleet of fully self-driving vehicles on the road, we’ve moved from research and development, to operations and deployment,” said John Krafcik, CEO of Waymo. “The Pacifica Hybrid minivans offer a versatile interior and a comfortable ride experience, and these additional vehicles will help us scale.”
Phoenix, Arizona will be the launching point this year for this innovative new service, but with Kirkland, Washington being one of the primary test environments for Waymo’s autonomous Chrysler Pacifica Hybrids, it is highly likely that we will be seeing driverless taxis in Kirkland very soon.