Waymo to get more than 60,000 cars from Fiat Chrysler for robotaxis

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(Reuters) – Fiat Chrysler Cars NV will add as much as 62,000 extra vehicles to Alphabet Inc’s autonomous driving unit Waymo, the businesses mentioned on Thursday, as a part of Waymo’s plan to roll out a robotaxi service within the U.S. later this yr.

A Waymo self-driving automobile is seen in the course of the annual Google I/O builders convention in Mountain View, California, Could 8, 2018. REUTERS/ Stephen Lam

The announcement comes on the day when Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp mentioned it will make investments $2.25 billion in Common Motors Co’s self-driving unit.

Massive tech corporations, established automakers and well-funded startups together with Uber Applied sciences Inc [UBER.UL] and Tesla Inc are all stepping up efforts to realize pole place within the self-driving vehicles market, which is anticipated to hold the vehicles trade into the following period.

“We’re excited to deepen our relationship with FCA that can help the launch of our driverless service and discover future merchandise that help Waymo’s mission,” Waymo Chief Govt Officer John Krafcik mentioned in an announcement.

Fiat Chrysler (FCA), which already has a partnership with Waymo, will add Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans to Waymo’s present fleet, the businesses mentioned on Thursday. Supply of the vehicles is anticipated to start in late 2018.

The businesses are additionally in early discussions about utilizing Waymo’s know-how in FCA vehicles to be offered in retail.

Alphabet’s self-driving unit mentioned in March it’s going to additionally add as much as 20,000 Jaguar Land Rover Automotive Plc [TAMOJL.UL] electrical automobiles to its upcoming autonomous fleet.

Waymo, which says it has self-driven 6 million miles on public roads, mentioned on Thursday it was on monitor to launch the world’s first self-driving transportation service later this yr, which can permit passengers to make use of Waymo’s app to request a automobile.

The corporate has plans to roll out a trip service for the general public within the Phoenix, Arizona space in coming months, with plans to later launch it extra broadly.

FCA, which has delivered 600 Pacifica Hybrid minivans to Waymo until date, first introduced its partnership with the corporate in Could 2016.

Reporting by Sonam Rai in Bengaluru and Paul Lienert in Detroit; Enhancing by Shounak Dasgupta

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