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The minivan of the future. AP Photo/Paul SancyaAfter months (and months and months) of rumors, including one rumor that it was partnering with Ford, Google’s self-driving car is going into manufacturing mode, with a new prototype based on the Chrysler Pacifica minivan. But hold the grocery-getter jokes, please. An autonomous minivan is exactly what Google should be making.Google announced the partnership today, along with several reasons why a Fiat Chrysler partnership make sense:This collaboration with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is the first time we’ve worked directly with an automaker to create our vehicles. FCA will design the minivans so it’s easy for us to install our self-driving systems, including the computers that hold our self-driving software, and the sensors that enable our software to see what’s on the road around the vehicle. The minivan design also gives us an opportunity to test a larger vehicle that could be easier for passengers to enter and exit, particularly with features like hands-free sliding doors. Chrysler will make 100 autonomous 2017 Pacifica hybrid minivans, which will start rolling onto the roads by the end of 2016. In addition to scooting around Mountain View, the vans will make their way to Google’s other test cities like Austin, Phoenix, and Kirkland, Washington. The Pacificas will join the rest of the vehicles in Google’s self-driving fleet which includes modified Lexus hybrids and other customized vehicles that Google built itself. This decision to go with this kind of vehicle emphasizes the goal that’s always been behind Google’s self-driving car project: It will allow unprecedented independence for people who are blind, deaf, and disabled. A minivan can be easily adapted for wheelchairs and other assistive devices that will help people to get in and out of the vehicle easily.But there’s also another important benefit to a minivan: More seats means that these autonomous vehicles can be easily shared, allowing them to function more like public transportation. There’s a reason that Elon Musk hinted about developing some kind of autonomous bus. Self-driving shared vehicles are the future.Google’s partnership with Fiat Chrysler is the latest self-driving collaboration between tech companies and American automakers, with GM and Lyft pairing up at CES. And last month, a new self-driving consortium formed that currently includes Ford, Volvo, Google, Lyft and Uber, to help push forward regulation to help get these cars on the road.[Google]
Autoblog BMW / Erin Marquis
BMW i8 crushed by cement truck will break your heart
Filed under: Government/Legal, BMW, Fuel Efficiency, Green Driving, Coupe, Hybrid, LightweightA BMW i8 was crushed in Newport Beach, CA Thursday after a cement truck lost control and tipped over onto the hybrid coupe.Continue reading BMW i8 crushed by cement truck will break your heartBMW i8 crushed by cement truck will break your heart originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 26 Feb 2016 08:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Here’s a trick Lotus knows very well. Lightening. Hot on the heels of the fastest Elise ever, the new Lotus Evora Sport 410 is the Evora 400 put through a weight loss programme to shed […]
The post Lotus Evora Sport 410 – 70 kg lighter, 150 units a year appeared first on Paul Tan’s Automotive News.
Filed under: Green, Transportation Alternatives, ChinaA Chinese company that is taking on Uber in the ride-on-demand market, Didi Kuaidi, is now worth over $20 billion, thanks to a new $1B financing round.Continue reading China’s Didi Kuaidi is raising $1 billion more to battle UberChina’s Didi Kuaidi is raising $1 billion more to battle Uber originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 26 Feb 2016 08:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Mitsubishi Motors Malaysia (MMM) has unveiled the new Mitsubishi Outlander to the media in a preview session. The SUV, which has seven seats in three rows, is available for public viewing at Bangsar Shopping Centre […]
The post Mitsubishi Outlander now in M’sia – CBU, 2.4, RM167k appeared first on Paul Tan’s Automotive News.