Technology - - Jan 09,2017
Waymo, formerly known as the Google Self-driving car project, unveiled its Windsor-built Chrysler Pacifica, world’s first self-driving minivan at the Detroit Auto Show.
The subsidiary of Alphabet Inc., Waymo is poised to offer its autonomous drive technology vehicles. According to the company, the technology is more reliable and affordable. Later this month Waymo will start testing its self-driving technology in Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Minivans on public roads in Arizona and California.
The Chief Executive Officer of Waymo, John Krafcik, said that Pacifica hybrid is the most advanced car on road and this is the perfect form to incorporate company’s self-driving technology. He also stated that Waymo’s latest innovations have helped the company in scaling technology to potentially millions of people every day.
Mr. Krafcik further added that Waymo’s latest fleet of self-driving hardware and software combined a new array of sensors including a greater vision system, enhanced radar and laser-based LIDAR; all advanced and built in-house. Waymo had reduced the price of a single LIDAR unit by 90% to around $7500, said Mr. Krafcik.
As per the speech of John Krafcik, LIDAR is a most expensive component of the self-driving cars. Pacifica is also the first mass-produced car to incorporate company’s single integrated system of hardware and software driving technology.
The Waymo Pacifica hybrid, imagined by Google’s partnership last year with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), is among 100 minivans that are part of the high-tech behemoth’s self-driving test fleet.
Waymo is presently in talks with Japanese multinational automobile manufacturer Honda Motor Co. to integrate its self-driving technology into Tokyo-based carmaker’s vehicles. Honda Motor Co. has proclaimed that company plans to start selling self-driving cars by 2020.
Other prominent automobile manufacturers such as BMW AG, Generals Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. have stated that they intend to introduce self-driving cars in the year 2021.