Fiat Chrysler partners with Alphabet’s Waymo to develop self-driving commercial vehicles
We last wrote about Alphabet’s Waymo back in May after the self-driving startup owned by Google’s parent company, Alphabet, raised another $750 million in funding, expanding the size of its first external investment round to $3 billion.
Today, Italian-American automaker Fiat Chrysler and Waymo announced the two companies have agreed on an exclusive deal to develop self-driving commercial vehicles, an area some believe could be the first widespread utilization of autonomous technology. As part of the agreement, Waymo will work withFiat Chrysler to integrate its autonomous driving system, which it calls the “Waymo Driver,” into the Ram ProMaster full-size van from Fiat Chrysler.
In a separate blog post, Waymo said the two companies have already “started to work together to imagine future FCA products for the movement of people and goods operated by the Waymo Driver.”
Back in 2016, we announced our very first OEM partner: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA). Since then, we’ve worked closely with FCA to integrate our Waymo Driver into FCA vehicles, and together we’ve made self-driving history in the proven, capable, L4-ready Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan, including launching the first commercial autonomous ride-hailing service, beginning to offer fully driverless service to our riders, and driving in dozens of cities across diverse geographies and challenging weather conditions. Now, we’re pleased to share that we’ve strengthened our partnership with FCA in several important ways.
Founded in 2017 by Joao Messias and Shimon Whiteson, Latent Logic, formally Morpheus Labs, has developed state-of the-art deep reinforcement learning techniques which allow robots to solve complex “human” tasks by learning from demonstration. The lead market for this technology is autonomous vehicles, where it can speed up the development of autonomous control systems, or test their performance and safety via simulated test cases with realistic human behaviors.