Waymo will start using autonomous Jaguars for robo-taxi duty.
Google’s self-driving company, Waymo, has announced a new partnership with Jaguar Land Rover and revealed plans to put 20,000 fully autonomous Jaguar I-Pace EVs on American roads over the next several years. The self-driving Jaguar prototypes will join Waymo’s existing fleet of 600 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans as the company’s self-driving operations begin to scale withrapidpace. Already, customers can flag an autonomous taxi using the app-based ride-hailing service.
In the same vein as Uber Black, Waymo plans to offer the self-driving I-Paces to customers as an upgraded, premium option for those who prefer to arrive with a bit more style than the Pacifica offers. “While we’ve been focused at Waymo on building the world’s most experienced driver, the team at Jaguar Land Rover has developed an all-new battery-electric platform that looks to set a new standard in safety, designandcapability,” said Waymo boss John Krafcik. “We’re sure Waymo riders will enjoy the safe, premium and delightful experience that the self-driving I-PACE will provide.”
Jaguar’s CEO Dr. Ralf Speth expanded on the sentiment. “Our passion for further advancing smart mobility needs expert long-term partners. “In joining forces with Waymo we are pioneering to push the boundaries of technology. Together we will deliver the self-driving Waymo Jaguar I-PACE with the grace, spaceandeco-pace that customers expect.” Waymo and Jaguar are expected to share a bed together until at least 2026. The first prototype I-Pace with Waymo’s self-driving technology will begin public testing at the end of this year, before officially becoming part of the ride-hailing service starting in 2020.