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Waymo buying 20000 Jaguar electric SUVs for driverless ride-hailing service

29 March, 2018, 02:23 | Author: Sara Gill
  • The Waymo-powered self-driving Jaguar I-PACE SUV

Waymo will fit its latest sensors and software to the electric Jaguars and put them into service as its first luxury offering in an autonomous-car hailing service.

You could soon be picked up by a driverless Jaguar I-Pace at the touch of a button, as the British auto manufacturer is teaming up with American firm Waymo to build up to 20,000 autonomous units of the electric SUV. The duo's line-up includes 600 Chrysler Pacifica mini vans, with "thousands more" on order, which will form a ride-hailing service in Arizona "later this year".

Waymo plans to begin testing the I-PACE models this year, and the fully-self-driving models are expected to be in service from 2020 onward, according to a company spokeswoman. These two heavy weights working together means the autonomous future of self-driving cars is not only coming sooner than ever but could look wonderful too.

The 20,000 Waymo I-PACE SUVs would be capable of servicing up to one million rides per day.

He added, "To serve the billion trips that occur on a typical day in the US, they'd need about 35 million vehicles".

"We can make this premium experience accessible for everyone", he said.

When it doesn't have Waymo's sensor suite strapped to the roof, the Jaguar I-Pace is a sporty all-electric SUV that strongly rivals the Tesla Model X. It starts at $69,000, does 0-60 in 4.5 seconds, and has a range of 240 miles.

Waymo now tests its self-driving system on Chrysler Pacifica minivans built by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. On Monday, Arizona's governor suspended Uber's self-driving tests.

The Jaguar deal will expand upon a fleet of self-driving cars that Waymo has been gradually building in partnership with Fiat Chrysler since 2015.

Bill Fay, senior vice president of automotive operations at Toyota North America, said Tuesday in an interview at an event in NY he did not know long the pause would last. "Today, we're talking about moving forward into the future with technology we're very confident in, with the I-PACE, and integration of our driver with I-PACE is a safe benchmark for the world".

"We all have to build some trust into the technology and obviously this would be a little bit of a setback", Fay said.



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