On Wednesday, Waymo LLC and Fiat Chrysler a Self-driving car company and Automobiles NV companies respectively said that they are expanding their autonomous vehicle partnership to include commercial vehicles. Fiat Chrysler is set to develop a self-driving vehicle going forward, exclusively with Waymo.
Waymo is owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc. Both companies have said that they will work together to develop autonomous light commercial vehicles. This will enable smooth movements between goods. During their initial period, they will start by integrating Waymo’s self-driving technology into Ram ProMaster vans.
Moreover, the companies also said Waymo’s Waymo Via autonomous goods delivery unit will use vehicles co-developed with Fiat Chrysler.
Automakers especially for the self-driving vehicle have started to shift their investment to delivery and other commercial uses of autonomous vehicles. Companies are now betting that the goods will offer a faster route to profits than overcoming the social, technical, and regulatory obstacles to moving people.
Fiat Chrysler began a startup in 2019 called Aurora for autonomous commercial vehicles which it has ended working on. Aurora said in a statement that it “looks forward to deploying our self-driving solution on FCA’s passenger and commercial vehicles” as it continues to use Chrysler minivans for its test fleets.
In a blog post, the two companies have said that they will collaborate on “level 4” autonomous driving. It is a reference to a Society of Automotive Engineers classification which defines vehicles that are capable of driving themselves. They also identify if the vehicle can taking action itself during the system fails or a dangerous situation.
Since 2016, the two companies have been working together to integrate its self-driving vehicle system. In a statement, Waymo Chief Executive John Krafcik the expanded its partnership will cover “ride-hailing, commercial delivery, and personal-use vehicles around the world.”
Mike Manley, chief executive of Fiat Chrysler’s, said in a statement that the automaker intends to deploy Waymo’s technology “across our entire product portfolio.”
Both the companies have not revealed any details on when new autonomous vehicles will launch.
Fiat Chrysler has also partnered with Intel Corp and BMW AG to develop automated driving technology.