Stellantis CEO says there’s nonetheless life in Waymo deal for autonomous supply vans


Stellantis, the automaker that owns 14 manufacturers together with Chrysler, Jeep and Ram, and autonomous car expertise firm Waymo aren’t solely working collectively, however the corporations are deepening their partnership, CEO Carlos Tavares instructed TechCrunch in a current interview .

This “deep” partnership will deal with Ram autonomous business supply vans, a goal that has been first introduced in 2020 and rapidly disappeared from public view. Discussions about this “enhanced” settlement targeted, partly, on an important level round driverless supply: how does the package deal get from the car to the client?

“When you arrive at your vacation spot, how do you get the package deal out of the truck? Tavares stated in a wide-ranging interview. “It is a dialogue level that doesn’t appear straightforward to resolve and we’re at present enhancing our collaboration settlement with them to take this into consideration.”

“On the similar time, we perceive their wants and we will do a number of issues for them when it comes to engineering,” he stated, including that it was too early to share particulars. “However I might say the partnership with Waymo is deepening. And I believe that is extra thrilling.

Tavares performed coy on the essential particulars of what, the place and when. However he added that he hoped to have the ability to share extra “possibly by the summer season.”

A Waymo spokesperson confirmed that the corporate continues to search for methods to deepen its relationship with Stellantis, however didn’t share any additional particulars or whether or not any progress had been made.

Tavares’ feedback recommend the corporate has greater than a passing curiosity in reviving a deal
it appeared destined to fail like so many different autonomous vehicle-OEM partnerships have over the previous couple of years.

Even when the 2 corporations attain a broader deal, there’s nonetheless an actual problem forward: its execution.

Waymo, which is owned by Google mother or father firm Alphabet, doesn’t at present function a business supply service utilizing its autonomous autos. Final summer season he closed its autonomous truck programWaymo By way of, to commit all its assets to the event of the robotaxi service.

In Might 2023, Waymo and Uber agreed to a multi-year strategic partnership to permit Uber customers to hail a driverless car by way of the app in Phoenix. That deal included a future plan to incorporate supply by way of Uber Eats, however as of at the moment it has not launched, based on a Waymo spokesperson.

The 2 corporations have been companions since 2016, when an settlement was reached to provide Waymo 1000’s of customized Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivans this is able to grow to be the primary driverless car to be launched.

Below the deal, Fiat Chrysler – now often known as Stellantis – would deal with manufacturing and provide Waymo with minivans incorporating redundancies designed for autonomous driving.

Waymo by no means got here near the order for 62,000 minivans agreed to in 2018 as a part of an expanded partnership with Fiat Chrysler. A whole bunch, not 1000’s, of minivans have been delivered to Waymo. However the minivan grew to become an important a part of its advertising plan, and over its lifespan the fleet has offered tens of 1000’s of rides to the general public, based on the corporate. (Waymo has by no means revealed detailed figures for its minivan fleet, past the truth that its whole international fleet is round 700 autos.)

Waymo has ended the Chrysler Pacifica Program in Might 2023. As we speak, its robotaxi service makes use of absolutely electrical Jaguar I-Tempo autos.


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