Move Over Uber Make Way For Waymo
It seems like only yesterday that the idea of self-driving cars were only dreamed about and things only seen in works of science fiction. But, here we are today with 2017 fast approaching, and we’re closer than ever to realizing what was once a fevered “delusion” found in the back pages of an issue of Popular Mechanics or The Magazine Of Fantasy & Science Fiction.
Google’s all encompassing Alphabet Inc. has finally branded its self-driving car movement and the name they chose is as catchy (if not more so) than Uber. The name is Waymo, simple, yet thought provoking. Way – a path, a journey, or a destination, and Mo – for motion, movement, and more.
Waymo recently unveiled their fleet of 100 Hybrid Chrysler Pacifica minivans that utilize computers, telematics, and sensors to make the cars completely autonomous. After months of rigorous testing, Waymo will be ready to start integrating their fleet of cars into their already operational team of self-driving vehicles sometime in early 2017.
The vehicles used for the fleet are based on the production model of the 2017 Pacifica, but Fiat Chrysler had to make some changes – yes these vehicles were custom built by the manufacturer. It was a better idea than having stock cars retrofitted with Waymo’s technology. The main alterations to the vehicles include the chassis, powertrain, electrical, and structural systems.
The company has also been working on a larger fleet that will be integrated with a ride-sharing system. It’ll be similar to carpooling which is what we’re most excited about.