Tag Archives: waymo

Waymo Resumes Their Autonomous Ride Service With The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

 

Attention commuters and rideshare enthusiasts! Waymo is encouraging us common folk to get a lift on its self-driving vehicles, which is a service that is gradually expanding and providing rides to a select ground of people for the past year.

The service was launched to the Phoenix masses on Thursday, October 8th. It’s worth mentioning that this should be considered a test launch of sorts before really expanding globally, since these are autonomous vehicles, they will not have a driver to take over the wheel in complex situations within the 50-mile radius that it will roam in. On top of that, there won’t be anyone monitoring the vehicles remotely.

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, in which the demand for rides was significantly reduced, Waymo made as many as 2,000 rides in self-driving vehicles on a weekly basis. The majority of the rides had a stand-by driver in case of emergencies, with the exclusion of 5% to 10% of the rides which required a smaller group of commuters to sign nondisclosure agreements. The company did not reveal the number of self-driving cars will be available in its assigned area.

John Krafcik, CEO of Waymo, said in a conference call with journalists. “We are worried about our ability to meet demand with the capabilities of the vehicle we have right now,” 

Waymo, a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc, the parent company of Google, has automotive sights on California and aspires to eventually mark its territory. However, according to Krafcik, there aren’t definite plans to announce their expansion there.

In an effort to reassure the public of its safety precautions, Waymo is supplying its vehicles with wipes and sanitizing gel, also requesting that commuters verify on a checklist that they have not had exposure to the coronavirus. Additionally, the company requires passengers to wear masks and monitors whether or not they are complying with this rule by using cameras inside the vehicle. The Pacifica Hybrid cars also have an air circulation that aids in removing any germs and bacteria that other riders may have brought in.

These next several weeks will serve as a test run for Waymo rides in the Phoenix area and without a sit-in driver. Following this, the company will reinstitute drivers behind the wheel in certain vehicles in order to allow the company to focus on expanding its (service area).

Miami Lakes Chrysler

Do you know who else is making headway? Miami Lakes Chrysler of course! Our dealership always has a wide range of Chrysler vehicles, namely the all-inclusive 2020 Pacifica Hybrid! The drive is easy, cruise-like and very comfortable for any family and more than suitable for cargo. Power is very adept from this engine and its electric power likely promotes its very natural and quick feel for its torque. Handling is also very competent and dependable for this vehicle and is sinless on the highway.

 On top of this, it has plenty of technologies for the interior like a year of SiriusXM satellite radio, the 4G hotspot, and Traffic Plus which assists drivers in avoiding challenging routes.

Those who are interested in any of our vehicles can simply view our online new car inventory and chat with a representative virtually for further assistance.

Photo Source/Copyright: FCA Media

FCA and Waymo Expand Their Alliance As Their Efforts With Autonomous Technology Increase

 

Today (July 22), Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and autonomous driving company, Waymo announced that they have made strategic and fundamental steps in the expansion of their thriving partnership.

At this time, Waymo will work mainly with FCA as its endeared partner in crime for the development and testing of class 1-3 light fleet vehicles. At first, the dynamic duo will focus on the incorporation of the Waymo Driver into the Ram ProMaster van, which is a technology platform that allows one access to a wide range of commercial customers on a global scale. This collaboration will make way for FCA and Waymo to take advantage of their particular strengths and capabilities to conclude how to successfully use autonomy to tackle the express needs of commercial customers, especially due to the swift expansion of product delivery services.

Additionally, FCA has chosen the Waymo company as its select, advised partner for L4 autonomous technology across its fleet models. In fact, FCA has already begun to work with Waymo to construct future products for their vehicles, which will be operated by the Waymo Driver.

“Our now four-year partnership with Waymo continues to break new ground. By incorporating the Waymo Driver, the world’s leading self-driving technology, into our Pacifica minivans, we became the only partnership actually deploying fully autonomous technology in the real world, on public roads. 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,” said Mike Manley, Chief Executive Officer, FCA. “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.”

 “FCA was our first OEM partner and we’ve come a long way together,” said 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. Today, we’re expanding our partnership with FCA with the Waymo Driver as the exclusive L4 autonomy solution for this global automotive company. 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.”

 In 2016, FCA became Waymo’s first OEM (original equipment manufacturer) partner, ensuingly, the two have stayed pretty close as they worked on fusing the Waymo Driver into FCA vehicles.  Their hard work has proven to pay off, since the creation of a highly-effective L4-equipped Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan. This union also resulted in the first commercial autonomous ride-hailing service, as well as the offering of fully driverless service to riders, which made its way driving in several cities from various locations and difficult weather conditions.

Miami Lakes Chrysler

Do you know who else is making headway? Miami Lakes Chrysler of course! Our dealership always has a wide range of Chrysler vehicles, namely all-inclusive Pacifica! Those who are interested in any of our vehicles can simply view our online new car inventory and chat with a representative virtually for further assistance.

Photo Source/Copyright: FCA Media

The Streets of Los Angeles Are the Learning Ground for the Waymo Chrysler Pacifica

Waymo, formally known as Google’s self-driving car project, is leaving its comfort home of Phoenix for the busy streets of Los Angeles. Waymo has had a relationship with the Chrysler Pacifica for some time now so it wasn’t unusual to see the combination roaming LA’s streets. Waymo doesn’t want to compete with the Los Angeles traffic; they want their vehicles to know how to operate the city.    

This news came from Waymo’s official Twitter account as they explained how three of the vehicles have started driving crazily around the streets of Los Angeles. They are exploring how the technology will fit in the city’s sizeable transportation environment. The vehicle is stocked with autonomous technology, but the system can also switch entirely to a human who can drive 100% of the time. 

The Waymo Pacifica vehicles that are on the street need to imagine a clear image of how the streets of Los Angeles look. Forbes has discovered that the Waymo vehicles need to memorize the location of the manholes, how long the crosswalks are, and how high the curbs are as well. There are still kinks to work through with these self-driving vehicles.  

Waymo isn’t afraid of new challenges. They welcome them as they know that one day, they’ll be able to remove human drivers and have the Waymo vehicles in place of them. The L.A. traffic is very different from Waymo’s first city of Phoenix, as Phoenix was the first and only pay-to-ride shuttle service. 

Aside from the Hollywood sign, Los Angeles is known for having some of the worst traffic in the United States. With Waymo’s test-drive happening in Los Angeles, it’ll be a new perspective on how the vehicle can run in certain situations and environments from what is used to in Phoenix. The more cities Waymo has under their belts for test-driving the better.     

Chrysler Pacifica Standard Features:

The Chrysler Pacifica 2019 has six trims available. It comes in the L, LX, Touring Plus, Touring L, Touring L Plus, and the Limited. All of the trims can be purchased with a V6 engine and a front-wheel-drive. 

The Uconnect touch-screen that’s on the infotainment on the Chrysler Pacifica comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. All of the Pacificas have SafetyTec Grough, which includes blind-spot monitoring and parking sensors. The LX has tri-zone climate control, touring suspension, and automatic headlights.

You can search the inventory of Chrysler Pacifica’s at Miami Lakes Automall

Photo Credit: Bloomberg.com

 

Waymo’s Self-Driving Car Program Adds a Plant in Detroit, Michigan

An additional location has been chosen for Waymo’s self-driving car project, and the final assembly will be in Detroit. Once known as Google’s self-driving car project, now one of the foremost leaders in pushing to develop the autonomous vehicle, Waymo had previously said that it was scouting locations in southeast Michigan. But they didn’t name a specific city, until now.

Jon Krafcik, CEO of Waymo, revealed via a blog post that Detroit was the company’s choice. “Today, we’re excited to announce that we’ve found the perfect facility in Detroit. We will partner with American Axle & Manufacturing to repurpose an existing facility, bringing a workforce back to an area where jobs in the automotive industry were recently lost,” according to the post.

The new building is set to create over 100 jobs and could expand to 400 jobs in the area with an investment of $13.6 million. Waymo has requested an $8 million grant from Michigan Business Development Program. They will use an existing facility on the American Axle and Manufacturing campus on Holbrooke where American Axle has its headquarters, Technology Development Center and the Detroit Business office.

The location in question was being used as a sequencing center for local parts supplier, and according to the company, American Axle recently moved back into the facility with business operations in the central portion of the building. The Vice President of American Axle, Chris Son, said the partnership would benefit the companies immensely. “We are excited to partner with Waymo and be a part of bringing future automotive technology to our Detroit Campus,” said Son to freep.com.

Waymo’s announcement comes after GM’s decision to pull back from the two factories that already are in the state. GM will stop manufacturing at the Detroit-Hamtramck plant early January 2020, which builds the electric Chevy Volt vehicle. But they are still planning on making the production versions of the self-driving Cruise car at the Orion Assembly Plant in Michigan.  

Although there has been no set date, there is speculation that General Motors’ Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant, could be in play. If it goes through, it will offer more than 200,000 square feet that Waymo is looking for. But there is still competition between Waymo’s self-driving vehicle development and GM’s Cruise unit.

Waymo’s project is considered as the mass production of L4 autonomous vehicles. According to NHTSA (the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), Level 5 is high automation, one step below full automation. Under certain conditions, the vehicle can manage all driving functions.  

The driver may have the option to have full control of the vehicle. General Motors has produced a Level 4 Chevy Bolts for test purposes at its Orion Assembly Plant. Although it’s been testing there hasn’t been a lot of news on it.

FCA PLANS:

This is the second announcement this year concerning auto manufacturing in the Detroit area. In February, Fiat Chrysler announced a $4.5 billion expansion in Wayne and Macomb counties. As of now, that amount has tripled. Included in the plan is the new Jeep plant at the company’s Mack Avenue Engine factory and the expansion of the Jefferson North Assembly Plant.    

As of now, that deal is still pending in the City of Detroit assembling 200 acres to complete FCA’s needed footprint. The deadline to complete is under the city’s agreement with FCA is this week. Earlier this month, the city was still negotiating the last piece of property needed by the Moroun family. The family owns 80-acre former Budd plant site near Charlevoix and Conner on the east side.

This isn’t the first lease that the Crown’s rent to Chrysler which is used as a parking lot for new vehicles produced at its Jefferson North Assembly Plant. Inside the assembly plant, in a separate shop, workers install self-driving hardware for autonomous vehicles that are being tested by GM Cruise, the automaker’s San Francisco-based autonomous-vehicle unit. Both GM and Ford Motor Co have announced that they will build autonomous vehicles in the Michigan factories.

You can search the inventory of Chrysler’s at Miami Lakes Automall. Make sure to stop by for a test drive and see if this model and make is the car for you.

Photo Credit: autoblog.com
Miami Lakes Automall Waymo Ride-Hailing Service

Waymo Launches First Driverless Ride-Hailing Service

Miami Lakes Automall Waymo Ride-Hailing Service

Soon after the self-driving Waymo successfully launched and tested its Early Rider program in Phoenix, Arizona, the autonomous car was certified as an autonomous transportation network the same city. That makes the Waymo the first ever driverless vehicle that consumers could use. It initially started the early launch of the Waymo ride-hailing program, where consumers could shop at big names like Walmart and ride-hail a self-driving Waymo vehicle. The success was so great, that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles invested $30 million into upgrading their Chelsea Proving Grounds to test autonomous vehicles for retail, or consumer use. Waymo also bought over 60,000 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid units from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) to expand their fleet to other states. The Waymo launched a robotaxi service in Phoenix, Arizona and its next objective to conquer is California. But before then, the official Waymo ride-hailing app has been made available to about 400 riders participating in the first phase of the program.

Can you imagine that? How easily do we hail a ride today? It’s not like the old days where one had to call a cab or hope there was one passing by. Now, we just need to unlock our smartphone, open an app, pick our destination(s), and a driver will arrive to pick us up. Now take that scenario, but someone’s missing. Only the vehicle shows up – no driver. Say hello to “Waymo One”.

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FCA Invests $30 Million In Autonomous Driving Testing Facility

miami lakes automall fca cpg autonomous testing

Photo Credit/Copyright: connectedautomateddriving.eu

The autonomous world is getting some major upgrades, ya’ll! Thanks to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) investing $30 million in their autonomous vehicle testing facilities, the upgrades will assist the automaker to improve the testing and evaluation of self-driving vehicles at the Chelsea Proving Grounds located in Chelsea, Michigan. The all-new facility, which initiates programs this month, features a dedicated autonomous highway-speed track, 35-acre safety feature evaluation area, and a high-tech command center.

“The all-new facility at Chelsea Proving Grounds will help support and enable the successful rollout of the company’s five-year plan laid out earlier this year,” said Mike Manley, Chief Executive Officer, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Chief Operating Officer, NAFTA region. “Our ability to test for autonomous and advanced safety technologies enables FCA to offer our customers the features they want across our brand portfolio.”

Beginning with the autonomous highway-speed track, which consists of tunnels, obstacles, on-and-off ramps, and different lighting conditions, it will be used for highway-speed testing exclusively for autonomous vehicle prototypes. Secondly, a 35-acre paved area for testing parking and emergency braking systems will also be designed. Lastly, a 6,500 square-foot command center will be created for external control and tracking of prototype autonomous vehicles using computer monitoring systems.

After opening up in 1954, the Chelsea Proving Grounds has undergone numerous expansions. Comprised of nearly 4,000 acres, 100 miles of road-surface, and off-road replicas of challenging trails, the Chelsea Proving Grounds is in operation seven days a week, 365 days a year. Within the facility, various levels of autonomy will be evaluated, as well as enabling the company to assess FCA vehicles by using test protocols from third parties such as the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), U.S. New Car Assessment Program (NCAP), and European New Car Assessment Program (EuroNCAP).

Additionally, the Chelsea Proving Grounds facility has depended on partnerships with Uber and Google subsidiary Waymo to develop the hardware and software that self-driving vehicles utilize. In May of 2018, FCA announced that it would deliver up to 62,000 additional Chrysler Pacifica Hybrids to Google’s automated driving technology company, while also making Waymo’s tech available in consumer vehicles via a licensing deal. Not only that, but Chrysler is also contributing an additional 20,000 compact cars from Jaguar Land Rover.

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

This is extraordinary news for people that are tired of traffic or having to commute to work. Someday, millions of people won’t have to struggle with such daily inconveniences. Interested in taking the 2018 Chrysler Pacifica for a spin? Stop by the Miami Lakes AutoMall located in Miami Lakes, FL or visit our website for more information on our entire new car inventory selection.  

Miami Lakes Automall FCA Autonomous Driving

Is the FCA Locked into Autonomous Driving?

Miami Lakes Automall FCA Autonomous Driving 2

Soon after Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced their five-year plans, many noticed there was a much larger focus on the expansion of the Jeep® brand and alternative fuel sources. Although the auto market has been shifting towards hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and electric vehicles in recent years, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has only dipped their toes in with the unsuccessful Fiat 500e and very successful Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid. The popular plug-in hybrid minivan has also had a large role to play with the once Google-owned project, the self-driving autonomous vehicle, the Waymo. We see even greater potential in the autonomous market before its saturated with every auto brand that makes vehicles with a GPS system and a camera.

The first self-driving autonomous vehicle to make a large impact on the auto industry was the self-driving Waymo vehicle, a modified Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid. Redesigned with the latest generation of custom-built radar, LiDAR, vision systems, and an all-new AI computer platform for safe operations. The vehicle is driving itself after all, so it needs the most up-to-date tech and software available.

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How Chrysler Changed the Minivan Game

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Photo credit: Cars.com

It should come as no surprise that the success of the Chrysler Pacifica lead to Chrysler having ideas about how to expand their widely popular minivan. Ideas were floating around about enhancing the vehicle with further upgrades and amenities. They only needed to keep pushing the boundaries of what customers wanted.

Families had already fallen in love with all the great features, like the popular Stow ‘n Go seating and the Uconnect system, that were added to the Chrysler Pacifica. After the Pacifica’s debut, the Chrysler brand saw sales of nearly 63,000 vehicles sold in the first year. Competing with the likes of the Honda Odyssey, Dodge Grand Caravan and the Kia Sedona was only going to get harder with more time on the market.

Popularity fades for vehicles and their shelf life is only as good as the speed at which new features and benefits can be added. Luckily for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), the auto group that encompasses Chrysler and many other brands, their forward thinking and innovation continued. The idea to not stop producing quality products didn’t end with the popular Pacifica model. For a brand like Chrysler that only has two vehicles being sold, the Chrysler 300 and Chrysler Pacifica, there was a need to find something special.

Rather than craft a new vehicle altogether, Chrysler went a different route. The entire minivan market was missing one large ingredient in its segment. The hybrid minivan. And Chrysler changed the game with the release of their new flagship Pacifica plug-in hybrid. Thus becoming the first hybrid minivan ever made in America.

Success Strikes Again

Chrysler has been around for nearly one hundred years thanks to innovation and a commitment to excellence. Most recently, Waymo, a company that produces autonomous technology for vehicles, agreed to purchase 63,000 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid models. The hope is to develop completely human-less driving, aka autonomous, in a retail vehicle capacity. Imagine buying a car you never drive; that’s the goal Waymo is working to develop and make a reality.

If you’re looking for how the future will look like, it starts with vehicles as popular and powerful as the current Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid and extends to the remarkable technology that companies like Waymo are putting into an already innovative minivan. The future of driving will change a lot once these products hit the road. But what does that mean for Chrysler?

What Does the Future Hold For Chrysler?

Most recently, FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne announced plans to grow other brands under the umbrella that FCA produces. With the focus on expanding other brands like Jeep and Ram, Chrysler hasn’t gotten the same news. Luckily for Chrysler fans, the innovation tied to the brand has kept this company popular since 1925, the first year Chrysler went into business.

The founder of the company, Walter Chrysler, would be proud of the latest and greatest minivan on the market today. The hybrid powertrain provides drivers up to 33 miles of battery life driving before switching to gasoline in the revised, powerful 3.6-Liter Pentastar engine. This allows the Chrysler Pacifica to stand out among all the rest of the crop in the minivan market.

Remarkably, the best part about this ingenious idea to craft a hybrid minivan was making charging easy and fast. With a 240-volt charger, the 2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid can be fully charged in about two whole hours. If you want to use a regular outlet to charge your Pacifica Hybrid, just leave it charging overnight and you’ll be good to go.

Come To Miami Lakes Automall To Drive Chrysler

If you’re currently hoping to drive a new vehicle, we’re your most knowledgeable destination to buy, lease, trade-in or sell a vehicle and go home with something fresh. Our line-up includes the new 2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid and we can’t wait to show it off for you.

If you’re in need of an appointment at our service center, our staff can help you out with a simple appointment you can make right here. Let us cater to your needs and we’ll suggest any maintenance required down the road. Providing your vehicle with top performance, safety and driving ability is our goal along with your happiness. Stop in to see what we’re capable of at Miami Lakes Automall!

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Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid + Waymo = Self-Driving Vehicles

self-driving-pacifica-miami-lakes

First we were impressed by the Chrysler Pacifica, then we were very impressed by the Pacifica Hybrid, and now we are even more impressed with the Pacifica Hybrid autonomous vehicle. Yep, FCA has partnered up with Google’s self-driving team, Waymo, to build a fleet of self-driving Pacificas.

So far, there are not too many details about the new vehicles or future plans, but here is what we do know.

  • At the moment, we know that the project consists of 100 units and one of them was displayed at the 2017 North American International Auto Show.
  • We also know that the self-driving Pacificas are built on the Pacifica Hybrid platform, so not only are they self-driving minivans, but they are also very fuel efficient and environmentally friendly.

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