Google announced last week that it was getting out of the self-driving car business. That doesn't mean self-driving cars won't be a thing around Mountain View anymore; the project is simply being spun off into its own Alphabet company called Waymo. Now, Waymo CEO John Krafcik has posted some details of the company's first self-driving vehicle. It's a minivan built in cooperation with Chrysler.
Google's self-driving car project started with production cars outfitted with sensors and other hardware to make them semi-autonomous. Then there was that odd little bubble car prototype the company showed off a few years ago. That's all in the past, though. Waymo is partnering with Chrysler to build a new test vehicle from the ground up. it's based on the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, which is a minivan. However, this one has all the AI smarts built in. It does still have that unsightly sensor hump on the top, though.
Krafcik says the self-driving Pacificas are equipped with upgraded sensors and computer systems that make them more capable than previous self-driving vehicles used by Google. Pre-production modified versions of the minivan have already managed to complete six months of testing that included extreme-weather driving. Waymo intends to have 100 of the vehicles in its test fleet beginning in 2017.