Jaguar teams up with Waymo to build self-driving I-Pace fleet

29 March, 2018, 02:22 | Author: Kathy Ellis
  • The Waymo-powered self-driving Jaguar I-PACE SUV

Pic: Waymo (Test of the I-Pace are scheduled to start later this year) The first self-styled "premium" autonomous auto has been unveiled in NY - and it's a Jaguar. The company says the fleet would be capable of handling one million rides a day.

Currently, Waymo has Chrysler Pacifica minivans and prototype autonomous Lexus RX SUVs, but the RXs are being phased out and replaced with minivans.

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

"With the Jaguar I-PACE we have a world-beating vehicle that's captured the imagination of customers around the world", said Ralf Speth, JLR chief executive.

The company's first full-electric SUV, the Jaguar I-PACE, was launched earlier this month and highlights the firm's commitment to investing heavily to become the leaders in autonomous, connected, and future electrified technologies. 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. Last month, it released a video created to help potential passengers envision what it is like to ride inside an autonomous vehicle. But that legislation is on hold amid questions over the safety of self-driving vehicles following the March 18 death of a pedestrian struck by a self-driving Uber test vehicle in Arizona. It's a painfully practical testbed, but not one that will help the general public get excited about self-driving cars.

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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.

Waymo has committed to launching the first fully-driverless taxi fleet - without a human safety driver - in Arizona by the end of 2018. On Monday, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey suspended Uber's self-driving vehicle testing privileges, stating in a letter to CEO Dara Khosrowshahi that video footage of the crash raised concerns about the San Francisco-based company's ability to safely test its technology in Arizona.

A Jaguar I-PACE self-driving auto.

The commitment, announced Tuesday during a NY event that was also webcast, marks another step in Waymo's evolution from a secret project started in Google nine years ago to a spin-off that's gearing up for an audacious attempt to reshape the transportation business. Consumers will be able to request rides using a smartphone app.



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