Waymo is still chugging along with plans to offer a truly driverless car service in the Phoenix, Arizona, area by the end of this year -- but it's also moving its self-driving sights to Europe. At the Automotive News Europe Congress in Turin, Italy, earlier this week, Waymo CEO John Krafcik said, "There is an opportunity for us at Waymo to experiment here in Europe, with different products and maybe even with different go-to-market strategies," as Reuters noted. SEE ALSO: Here's the aspect of self-driving car testing that's not dominated by Apple or Google Krafcik floated this idea a few days after Waymo demoed its Level 4 autonomous driving capabilities at Fiat Chrysler's Balocco Proving Ground in northern Italy. For the first time, a car drove itself outside the U.S. with no one in the driver's seat. At the Turin event, the CEO brought up the idea of possible partnerships in the market after crediting his European counterparts for advancing self-driving tech.
Google turned its self-driving car division into a new company called Waymo, in December 2016. And it revealed the vehicles it will use - specially developed Crysler minivans. The hybrid vehicles are expected to form part of Google's ridesharing service, and are already being tested in California. Waymo accused Uber and Otto, acquired by the ride services company in August, with stealing confidential information on Waymo's Lidar sensor technology to speed its own efforts As we get fully self-driving cars ready for the road, we'll need more types of vehicles to refine and test our advanced driving software,' Waymo CEO Jon Krafcik wrote. 'That's why in May we teamed up with FCA to work on adding 100 self-driving Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans to Waymo's fleet.
Waymo, the company that grew out of Google's self-driving car initiative, is seeking autonomy in more ways than one. Its latest move is to take in-house the design of the sensor packages on which its fully self-driving vehicle platform relies. Waymo CEO John Krafcik announced the move at the Automobili-D motor show in Detroit on Sunday, while showing off the latest incarnation of the self-driving Pacifica minivans the company has developed with auto maker Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA). "These Pacifica minivans will be the first vehicles to be equipped with Waymo's all-new fully integrated hardware suite and we've brought our self-driving sensors now in-house. It's all designed and built from the ground up by Waymo, with every part manufactured with just one goal in mind: To safely handle the complex task of full autonomy," Krafcik told the audience.
This morning at Chelsea Piers in NYC, Waymo CEO John Krafcik announced a new model of car powered by Waymo's self-driving technology. Dubbed the world's first premium fully self-driving car, Waymo has partnered with Jaguar Land Rover to bring the Waymo-outfitted Jaguar I-PACE to the public. Waymo plans to outfit 20,000 units to be used for Waymo's public self-driving service over the next few years, which will allow the service to offer 1 million rides per day. This is the sixth model in Waymo's lineup, including a small car, an SUV, a firefly prototype, a minivan (the Pacifica we're all familiar with) and a semi-truck for operations. "We want to build a self-driving car for every passenger and every trip," said John Krafcik at the reveal.
Google's parent company Alphabet announced last week it had spun off Google's self-driving cars division into a new company called Waymo. And on Monday, Waymo CEO John Krafcik shared some info about the company's first car, a modified, self-driving Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan. SEE ALSO: Google's driverless cars will now have to prove themselves as a real business In May, Google teamed up with Fiat Chrysler to build a fleet of 100 autonomous Pacifica minivans. But this is the first time we can actually see how the completed vehicle looks. According to Krafcik, the cars are equipped with Waymo's latest self-driving tech, which includes a "suite of updated sensors, all-new computer and other major system updates."