Fiat Chrysler provides bespoke minivan for self-driving startup Voyage

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Voyager's agreement with Fiat Chrysler will see the carmaker provide it with purpose-built minivans that meet specific design requirements for its autonomous systems Voyage

By Nick Lavars May 12, 2020

Voyager’s agreement with Fiat Chrysler will see the carmaker provide it with purpose-built minivans that meet specific design requirements for its autonomous system voyage View 2 Images

For a few years now, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has been pursuing a self-driving future through its Pacifica Hybrid minivans, making deals with Google and then its spin-off autonomous car venture Waymo. The automaker has now gained another ally in startup Voyage, who it will provide with a purpose-built Pacifica to accommodate Voyage’s autonomous vehicle technology for testing.

As part of its pursuit of a truly driverless Robo-taxi service, Voyage has previously retrofitted both Ford Fusions and Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivans with its autonomous navigation systems. But as CEO Oliver Cameron notes in a blog post today detailing the new partnership with FCA, this approach doesn’t offer the company’s software vehicle-level access and complete awareness of how critical components, such as the steering, braking and acceleration, are functioning.

Voyager's emergency braking system fitted to a Fiat Chrysler Pacifica minivan
Voyager’s emergency braking system fitted to a Fiat Chrysler Pacifica minivan

The agreement with FCA will see the carmaker provide Voyage with a purpose-built minivan that meets the specific design requirements for its autonomous systems, including safety-critical steering and braking systems, and fail-safe power systems for the sensors and software. In doing so, Cameron says the company has “all the pieces in place to deliver on the promise of self-driving cars.”

Voyage has spent the last few years testing self-driving vehicles with humans onboard in retirement villages in California and Florida, and last year raised another US$31 million in Series B funding, with Jaguar Land-Rover and Chevron among the investors, bringing the total amount of capital raised to $52 million.

Source: Voyage

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