Waymo has been working on their own self-driving taxi service for some time now and they've made quite a bit of progress towards making it a reality. Recently, the company converted roughly 600 Chrysler Pacifica minivans into self-driving vehicles in preparation for this service. Now, the company is ordering "thousands" of additional minivans for their fleet.
"In order to move quickly and efficiently in autonomy, it is essential to partner with like-minded technology leaders," said Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne. "Our partnership with Waymo continues to grow and strengthen; this represents the latest sign of our commitment to this technology."
If you're interested in getting behind the metaphorical wheel of one of Waymo's self-driving taxis, the company will be opening up its ride-hailing service to Phoenix citizens sometime this year. However, the newly-ordered Pacifica minivans will be "used to support Waymo as it expands its service to more cities across the United States," hinting at a much broader service expansion in the near future.
Full vehicle autonomy may still seem like a bit of a pipe dream to some but Waymo is quickly making it a reality. The company proved they were capable of achieving driverless, Level 4 autonomy back in November and their self-driving tech will only continue to get more sophisticated over time.
Waymo may be one of the leaders as far as autonomous car tech goes but they're still up against some stiff competition. Uber, Apple and even GM are all working on their own versions of this technology.