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Google Expands Waymo Fleet to Incredible 62,000 Chrysler Pacifica Vans

Google Expands Waymo Fleet to Incredible 62,000 Chrysler Pacifica Vans

Google’s self-driving car subsidiary, Waymo, will expand its vehicle fleet to include up to 62,000 new Chrysler Pacifica minivans. The two companies agreed to the latest deal on Thursday as Waymo aims to expand its public self-driving tests.

Waymo and Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles have worked together since 2016 when the autonomous vehicle company took delivery of 100 Pacifica hybrid minivans for its test fleet. Since then, Waymo has taken delivery of 500 additional Pacificas.

As for the thousands of new vehicles, Waymo said FCA will supply the vehicles on an as-needed basis while its self-driving operations expand across the United States. The company has plans to launch the industry’s first self-driving transportation service later this year in Phoenix, Arizona. Soon after, the service will expand into the San Francisco area and beyond.

SEE ALSO: Google’s Waymo Self-Driving Minivan Involved in Accident

While Waymo receives its “hardware” for its self-driving technology, the fruits of the partnership are beginning to pay off for FCA as well. The automaker is negotiating with Waymo to license its autonomous technology for future FCA vehicles, which would spare FCA the extensive development costs to create its own technology. Thus, Waymo’s technology could one day be available for retail customers via FCA cars.

“FCA is committed to bringing self-driving technology to our customers in a manner that is safe, efficient and realistic,” FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne said. “Strategic partnerships, such as the one we have with Waymo, will help to drive innovative technology to the forefront.”

The Waymo partnership expansion comes one day before FCA will reveal its next five-year plan, as Marchionne prepares to step down as CEO in 2019.

A version of this story originally appeared on Hybrid Cars

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