Google's autonomous van plans could spell the end for delivery drivers everywhere
- A number of Chrysler minivans have been spotted at a Google car park
- Two of the Pacifica vans have been fitted with sensors ready for road tests
- They are part of Google's partnership with Chrysler for driverless vehicles
Google’s self-driving vehicle project could soon be treading on the toes of tradesmen and delivery drivers everywhere.
The firm has reportedly bolstered its fleet of autonomous vehicles with a number of new Chrysler Pacifica minivans.
Forming part of Google’s partnership with Italian-controlled car maker Fiat Chrysler, two of the vehicles have already been fitted with sensors, ready for the road.
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Google's latest additions to its fleet of driverless vehicles could spell trouble for delivery drivers and tradesmen. A number of Chrysler Pacifica minivans have been seen at a car park in Mountain View, fitted with sensors, ready for the road
GOOGLE'S MINIVAN PLANS
Six Chrysler Pacifica minivans have been spotted at a Google car park in Mountain View, California.
Two of the white vehicles have reportedly been fitted with updated sensors, ready for road tests.
The addition of the minivans marks another step in Google’s ambitions for automation and a 'commercialisation friendly' vehicle.
According to Electrek, six of the minivans were spotted in a car park in Mountain View, the Californian home of the firm.
The arrival of the Chryslers mark another step in Google’s ambitions for automation, with its current fleet of self-driving vehicles limited to bubble car design as well as Lexus SUVs.
Electrek reports that the roof-mounted sensors added to the new white vehicles are much smaller than existing sensor arrays.
Pictures emerged showing Google has fitted sensors to two of the minivans, making them more ‘commercialisation friendly’ compared to the prototypes, making them more attractive to delivery firms and others and potentially threatening jobs.
The addition of the minivans marks another step in Google’s ambitions for automation and a 'commercialisation friendly' vehicle. Google's current fleet of vehicles with its current fleet of self-driving vehicles is limited to its bubble car design as well as Lexus SUVs (pictured)
Fiat Chrysler and Google first announced the partnership in May this year, planning to add 100 Chrysler Pacifica minivans which would more than double the size of Google's fleet of self-driving vehicles.
As part of the agreement, Chrysler engineers will work with Google to install sensors and software so the vans can drive themselves.
The added vehicles are needed as Google expands real-world testing, which has racked up two million miles on public roads.
Google says it will own the gas-electric hybrid vans, and it's not currently licensing autonomous car technology to Fiat Chrysler or anyone else.
Both companies are free to work with others.
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