Google is keen on building and bringing self-driving technology to mainstream audience.
Chrysler is helping the company by offering 100 Pacifica hybrid minivans under their Waymo program to test autopilot mode and gather crucial data.
The search engine giant has shown ample interest in developing smart glasses and smart cars. While the former didn’t kickoff strongly as expected, the latter is going on a strong pace. The brand continues to expand their self-driving cars in multiple cities and all of them can be spotted with the rotating LiDAR scanner on top of them. With the new initiation, 100 Pacifica Hybrid minivans will be launched on the road for further testing.
In their official statement, Chrysler team confirmed that plenty of changes are made to the minivans including its electronics setup, chassis and powertrain so as to accommodate the autopilot technology. The Pacifica minivans which are part of Waymo, the Chrysler-Google partnership company will be equipped with a computer. The powerful machine will be capable of processing data on the go besides acquiring important information with regards to the environment. The data collected will be shared with all cars within the network to enhance their self-driving capabilities.
If self-driving cars could become the norm and be accepted by the mainstream audience, they could contribute in reducing at least 1.2 million deaths that occur. The accidents are all caused by improper driving habits and human errors which can completely be eradicated when the controls are handed over to the computers. With the help of augmented reality, sensors and interconnected networks, they are highly capable of making numerous calculations on road to manage speed and avoid collisions that are not possible for an average human.
With these 100 Chrysler Pacifica Minivans on the roads, the Waymo and FCA partnership will gather enough data. The collective information will allow them to understand how self-driving cars work in real world scenarios and how efficient they are when it comes to helping people commute from one place to another.
While electric cars are becoming a primary choice for many eco-conscious buyers, self-driving models are expected to be adopted in large numbers by 2020. Instead of introducing them to replace human driving, large auto companies have planned to focus on specific areas of driving while encouraging a person to be seated in the driving seat at all times for assured safety. The company released a photo of the Pacifica minivan with the LiDAR scanner mounted on top of it.