Not too long ago, the big story in the shared space between automotive and tech was the fact that Google's Waymo had purchased 20,000 I-Pace electric vehicles from Jaguar to bolster the ranks of its upcoming self-driving taxi service. While that major push toward realizing the driverless transportation-as-a-service (TaaS) dream was definitely groundbreaking, Waymo just raised the bar yet again with a new arrangement with Chrysler.
Specifically, Andrew J. Hawkins of The Verge reports that Google's self-driving spinoff has recently begun receiving shipments of a 62,000 Pacifica minivan order from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA). With these vehicles on hand, and the aforementioned Jaguar I-Paces on the way, the message here is crystal clear: Waymo not only has the largest and most advanced self-driving stack in the industry, it Is also ready and prepared to bring this taxi service to market in the very near future.
Speaking of bringing driverless tech to market, one of the burning questions many dealerships currently face revolves around when – and not if – the automotive aspirations of Uber, Google, and other tech leaders will disrupt the average car buying experience. While opinions vary drastically on this front, Waymo's current agreement with FCA might have put an end to this discussion from at least one perspective since it also explores the ability of this Alphabet subsidiary to sell Waymo-enabled vehicles in established Chrysler dealerships across the country.
To put all of this in plain terms, Waymo and Chrysler might not only be on the verge of establishing the first true autonomous TaaS outfit, but may also have found the best way to crack the enigma surrounding how dealerships fit into an automotive future that looks increasingly alien when compared to our current market landscape.
Want to dig into all of the nitty-gritty details surrounding the latest partnership between Google's Waymo and Chrysler? Then be sure to check out the full story from Hawkins over on The Verge by clicking the link we've provided down below.