Waymo is teaming up with Jaguar to boost the luxury factor of its driverless ride-hailing service. The two companies will build at least 20,000 self-driving versions of the I-Pace electric vehicle.
Waymo is competing with rivals General Motors Co. and Uber Technologies Inc.to deploy such vehicles for the masses. Still, partnering with a mainstream automaker has clear scaling advantages to Waymo, which is predicting as many as 20,000 self-driving I-PACE to be deployed in just the first two years.
As we noted in a previous report, Waymo and GM recently topped Navigant's list of companies who are participating in the self-driving race.
Arizona's favorable weather conditions have made it an ideal location for companies to test self-driving vehicle services. The company has outfitted a fleet of Chrysler Pacifica minivans with laser-radars and other self-driving sensors.
Apple to launch cheaper iPad for students
The company has revised its tablet strategy over the years by releasing different versions at a variety of price points. As is its standard practice, Apple is playing its cards close to its chest and didn't respond to a request for comment.
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Autonomous vehicle company Waymo is about to gain another 20,000 electric cars to its fleet thanks to a new partnership with Jaguar. Without resorting to flash and drama during his presentation, Krafcik still left no doubt about what Waymo thinks of its partnership with Jaguar.
The Waymo Jaguar I-PACE is being shown at the New York International Auto Show.
Krafcik also noted that Waymo is on the verge of "shifting focus from research and development to operations".
Waymo has been working on self-driving cars since 2009 and has driven more than eight million kilometres on public roads. In addition, Waymo filed a lawsuit against Uber previous year over the theft of trade secrets related to self-driving technology.
"There will no doubt be an exhaustive investigation of the tragic incident involving an Uber self-driving vehicle and a pedestrian", Akshay Anand, an analyst at Kelley Blue Book, said in an emailed statement. The I-PACE is all-wheel drive, but there's no driveshaft running the length of the SUV to connect the rear wheels to the front. "That's the world we're building", the company said.