How much Google and search technology does Alphabet's modified Chrysler Pacifica have? Advertisers and marketers are likely scratching their heads asking themselves that very question.
On Monday, Alphabet shared a first look at the minivan equipped with the latest technology including a suite of sensors, mapping system, computer and other major updates, John Krafcik, Wymo CEO, wrote in a blog post on Medium.
Creating awareness on google.com, a paid-search ad from Alphabet's spinoff, Waymo, leads those who click through to a landing page describing the self-driving car's features, but details of the minivan are on Krafcik's page.
"The joint program team has been working to design and engineer the modifications to the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid that would allow us to integrate our new fully self-driving systems," Krafcik wrote, explaining the past six months of work.
Alphabet's engineers used several early prototype minivans and a gamut of tests, including more than 200 hours of extreme-weather testing. These vehicles went through tests on Alphabet's own test track in California, and FCA’s Chelsea Proving Grounds in Chelsea, Michigan and their Arizona Proving Grounds in Yucca, Arizona before product began in October.
The plan is to have the new vehicles on public roads in 2017, Krafcik wrote.
Google's self-driving car project began in 2009 to develop technology that could make roads safer and improve mobility for everyone. In October 2015, the team completed the first fully self-driving trip on public roads in a car without a steering wheel, pedals or test driver, but shortly after hit a few bumps along the way such as accidents, guidelines and legislation.
In September, Bloomberg reported on the Obama administration's proposed guidelines for self-driving cars highlighting 15 benchmarks automakers need to meet before their autonomous vehicles can hit the road.