Self-driving technology company Waymo has been on a buying spree as of late as it begins to ramp up its operations. The Google owned company previous reported ordering thousands of new Chrysler Pacifica minivans in January of 2018. It has followed up this order by announcing at the New York International Auto Show 2018, that British car manufacturer, Jaguar, has agreed a long-term partnership with Google’s Waymo. The partnership entails supplying Waymo with the Jaguar I-PACE. The I-PACE is the first battery-electric SUV car due to be produced by British automotive company. Jaguar says the electric SUV will be available by the second half of 2018.
‘while we’ve been focused at waymo on building the world’s most experience driver, the team at jaguar land rover has developed an all-new battery-electric platform that looks to set a new standard in safety, design and capability,‘ explains John Krafcik, Waymo CEO. ‘we’re sure Waymo riders will enjoy the safe, premium and delightful experience that the self-driving I-PACE will provide.’
Up to 20,000 models of the eclectic vehicle are set to join the fleet, which already include thousands of Chrysler Pacifica minivans. Road testing has already begun for the driverless fleet across the US. Expectations are that the cars will be fully operational by 2020. Both models will form their driverless ride-hailing pilot to validate the market and establish driverless car technology.
The SUVs and Minivans will be specifically designed to integrate Waymo‘s autonomous driving hardware and software. Waymo states, the volume and timeline thereafter would depend on the progress of its self-driving pilots. There have been several incidents reported involving Google Waymo vehicles. None of these collisions have resulted in death. Google maintains that, in most of these cases, the vehicle itself was not at fault because the cars were either being manually driven or the driver of another vehicle was at fault. Scheduled testing will capture real-world data that will help refine self-driving technology further and deliver optimum safety and reliability.
In 2017, Waymo started removing the safety drivers from its small-scale ride-hailing pilot in Chandler, Arizona – a city southeast of Phoenix. Additionally, the company is already performing public road tests in 25 cities, including San Francisco, Metro Detroit, and most recently, Atlanta.
So be one the look out these self-driving eclectic cars could be headed to a city near you sooner than you think!