Waymo and Fiat Chrysler may sell self-driving cars to the public

Earlier today in Balocco, Italy, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne gave something of a farewell address. But instead of looking backward, as you might expect of an outgoing executive, Marchionne laid out FCA’s plans for the future. Those plans center on Jeep, Ram, and Dodge but make little/no mention of Chrysler or Fiat.

Before the event, some analysts expected Marchionne to announce that Chrysler was being put on ice, which wouldn’t have surprised many, given the brands so-so sales. But at least one Chrysler vehicle is staying put: the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, which has been a key player in FCA’s partnership with Waymo.

In fact, consumers may soon be able to buy a self-driving Pacifica Hybrid of their own. Forbes reports:

Waymo is not thinking small as it prepares to make on-demand robot rides available to the general public, with plans to add as many as 62,000 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans to its fast-growing fleet of self-driving vehicles. It’s also in talks to make that technology available to individual vehicle buyers.

Along with buying vehicles, Waymo is also in talks to potentially license and supply self-driving tech for an FCA-manufactured vehicle for retail customers, the companies said in a joint statement, without elaborating.

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

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