The Next Car for the Google Self-Driving Car Project

Van Yesterday Google announced as part of the Google Self-Driving Car Project2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan. Not exactly my next car choice however minivans are known to be one of the safest cars on the road (not the prettiest though in my opinion). This will be the first time for Google to work directly with an automaker for their cars on this project. They will also be expanding their testing program to four other U.S. cites.

It will be interesting to see a self driving minivan on the road in the near future. I'm not sure how I feel about it if there are kids or babies in the minivan; seems dangerous but if anyone can do it Google can. I wish for the next car for the  Google Self-Driving Car Project they would let the public vote; pretty sure it would NOT be a minivan.

Below is Google's full announcement from yesterday with more details about the Google Self-Driving Car Project and the new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan.

We’ve expanded our testing program to a total of four U.S. cities over the last several months, so it’s time to add more vehicles to our fleet. We’re planning to more than double our fleet with the initial addition of about 100 new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans, and we hope the first few will be on the road by the end of this year.

This collaboration with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is the first time we’ve worked directly with an automaker to create our vehicles. FCA will design the minivans so it’s easy for us to install our self-driving systems, including the computers that hold our self-driving software, and the sensors that enable our software to see what’s on the road around the vehicle. The minivan design also gives us an opportunity to test a larger vehicle that could be easier for passengers to enter and exit, particularly with features like hands-free sliding doors.

In the coming months, our team will collaborate closely with FCA engineers. This experience will help both teams better understand how to create a fully self-driving car that can take you from A to B with the touch of a button. Collaborations like these are an important part of realizing the potential of self-driving technology to improve road safety and make transportation more accessible for millions of people.