Not only has Google's self-driving car unit become an official, standalone company under the Alphabet corporate umbrella but they have revealed the model of their long-awaited self-driving car!
Waymo, formerly the Google self-driving car initiative, collaborated with Fiat Chrysler over the course of six months. Through their partnership, they will launch 100 Chrysler Pacifica minivans. According to Wired, these minivans will be "hybrid-powered vans with the right tools for the job incorporated from the start, rather than retrofitting them after they came off the assembly line. Those include the computers that run its software algorithms and the suite of sensors -- LIDAR, radars, and cameras -- that adorn the roof and flank the sides of the car."
Waymo's self-driving minivans will still include steering wheels and pedals, as well as space for about six passengers (if you don't mind sitting in the dreaded middle seat). "Waymo also operates a fleet of about two dozen retrofitted Lexus SUVs."
Break out that Uno deck (you know, the one collecting dust in your game closet)!
Waymo and Fiat have yet to say whether or not their partnership will extend beyond this line of cars, but it does allow Waymo an entrance into the car-making business. Through Fiat, they will have access to manufacturers and other marketing teams. The partnership also provides them with alternate methods to bring their "tech to market," including ridesharing, trucking, and personal vehicles.
While some reports have hinted the cars might be ready to launch by the end of 2017, Waymo and Fiat say they are still testing the product.
Google employees and their guests have gotten to ride in some of the earlier models, though. With their help, Waymo hopes to work out the inner and outer kinks so people will have the ultimate self-driving experience.
So ... know anyone at Google?