Published: Thu, March 29, 2018
Money | By Hannah Jacobs

Jaguar and Waymo team up for self-driving I-Pace EVs

Jaguar and Waymo team up for self-driving I-Pace EVs

During a NY news conference, Waymo CEO John Krafcik revealed the Google spinoff will begin adding as many as 20,000 Jaguar I-Pace SUVs to its fleet, the battery-electric vehicles joining thousands of Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans Waymo had already committed to purchase.

Waymo now tests its self-driving system on Chrysler Pacifica minivans built by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Last year, the British firm began testing a number of cars fitted with driverless technology in its home city of Coventry - a first in the UK.

"We made some comments over the weekend over the situation in Arizona, and those comments suffice for now", said Krafcik.

Jaguar's I-PACE launched this month. This would also be the most powerful vehicle in Waymo's fleet by far with a combined 400hp and 512 lb-ft of torque from its dual electric motors.

In a previous report, Ars Technica dubbed Waymo's self-driving software as the best in the world, with the publication taking particular note of the company's several layers of redundancies, including redundant controls for its cars' brakes, steering, and power supply. This hardware will work hand-in-hand with Waymo's AI-powered software, which will enable the vehicles to pick up and drop off passengers in selected areas without a human driver. The companies say the partnership focuses on safety and reliability, two things that have come into question recently after an Arizona woman was struck and killed by a self-driving vehicle.

Arizona's governor suspended testing by Uber on Monday. The announcement of a substantial vehicle fleet for the Phoenix roll-out demonstrates that Waymo has taken a significant step forward in the race to pioneer the world of self-driving cars.

Rather than retrofit its autonomous technology into a standard I-Pace, Waymo and JLR will in fact build the cars to be self-driving from scratch.

The autonomous vehicle pioneer said Tuesday it will add up to 20,000 Jaguar SUVs to its lineup in a partnership with Jaguar Land Rover. "That's the world we're building".

Waymo is still planning on launching a commercial fully-autonomous ride-sharing service by the end of the year. Consumers will be able to request rides using a smartphone app.

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