Waymo Buying Up To 20000 Jaguar SUVs For Driverless Fleet

Waymo's buying up to 20,000 Jaguar I-PACE SUVs and outfitting them with its self-driving tech

Waymo's buying up to 20,000 Jaguar I-PACE SUVs and outfitting them with its self-driving tech

The partnership will see Jaguar's fully-electric I-Pace SUVs transformed into driverless rides that will one day form part of Waymo's taxi fleet. "The I-Pace is the world's first premium electric auto".

"We want to build a self-driving vehicle for every passenger and every trip", Waymo CEO John Krafcik said at a press event at Chelsea Piers in New York City.

It is not yet clear why Uber's self-driving auto did not detect 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg as she crossed the road with her bicycle.

Is the self-driving I-PACE the vehicle to take the tech mainstream?

In January, Fiat Chrysler said it will supply Waymo with "thousands" of modified Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans as the startup prepares to launch a self-driving taxi service.

Waymo has been testing autonomous cars in the wild for some time and has already racked up more than 5 million autonomous miles.

Waymo appears to be moving very quickly with its plans and earlier this month posted a video of Early Riders enjoying (or sleeping through) their first lifts in a self-driving auto.

Later this year Waymo will launch the world's first self-driving transportation service allowing members of the public to use Waymo's app to request a vehicle.

The company has said its focus is developing and deploying driverless technology, rather than becoming an automaker.

Waymo estimates that once all 20,000 driverless I-Pace models are on USA roads, they will collectively perform one million rides per day. Once the service is fully up and running, Waymo says it could provide up to 1 million rides each day across the country.

Our passion for further advancing smart mobility needs expert long-term partners. During the event, Waymo CEO John Krafcik took the wraps off the company's latest self-driving vehicle - the all-electric Jaguar I-PACE - a small SUV that is being pushed as a competitor to the Tesla Model X.

"That Waymo is moving forward shows a lot of confidence", commented Tim Stevens, editor-in-chief of news site Roadshow.com. Waymo and others might be experimenting with taxi-replacement schemes right now, but early adopters of self-driving technology are nearly certain to be well-heeled and status motivated when the free betas are through and suddenly we have to start paying for such services.

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