DETROIT – Waymo, Google's self-driving car division, will start testing its new fleet of minivans on public roads in California and Arizona later this month.
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The minivans, built in collaboration with Fiat Chrysler, are Chrysler Pacifica hybrids outfitted with Waymo's own suite of sensors and radar.
In a speech at the Detroit auto show Sunday, CEO John Krafcik revealed that Waymo built the sensors, radar and software for the new minivans in-house.
Krafcik said the company felt the system would work better if it was developed specifically for self-driving instead of using off-the-shelf parts. He said Waymo was also able to significantly lower the cost of the system.
Krafcik reiterated that Waymo doesn't plan to build its own cars, but provide self-driving systems to established carmakers or car-sharing services.