For decades, the idea of a self-driving car has only existed in science fiction. But, that fiction is quickly becoming reality with the help of Google and its fleet of autonomous vehicles. Recently, Google signed a deal with Chrysler to create of fleet of self-driving Pacifica minivans, and over a dozen were recently spotted in a parking garage in California.
The plug-in hybrid minivans were mounted with cameras and LIDAR sensors on the roofs. Looking at the pictures, you can see Google has made big strides in reducing the size of its equipment, especially the parts that get mounted on the roof. In addition, it looks like there are some sensors that are embedded into the front fenders.
These minivans were spotted right around the same time Google announced it is launching a new ride-sharing program focused on carpooling, and minivans sure are an ideal choice for carpooling. So, this could mean these self-driving Pacifica vans could be used for that program.
It is also interesting to note that Google chose the hybrid version of the Pacifica. When fully charged, it delivers up to 30 miles of all-electric range.
Here at Gossett Chrysler, we are interested to see how these self-driving minivans perform in real-world tests.