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Jaguar and Waymo join forces to build driverless I-Pace

29 March 2018

You won't be able to buy the self-driving I-Pace, but Waymo is planning on building 20,000 versions of the auto to use on its self-driving Uber competitor.

Waymo announced the partnership at the NY motor show.

Waymo, the company that grew of out of Google's self-driving vehicle project, announced a deal to buy up to 20,000 electric cars over the next two years, a move that shows the scope of its ambition when it comes to driverless ride-hailing services.

The Waymo-Jaguar partnership will introduce a new vehicle into the Alphabet unit's fleet of self-driving vehicles, at a time when the technology is once again under massive scrutiny from both regulators and the public.

It remains unclear when exactly that service will launch, or whether participants will be hand-chosen by Waymo rather than simply joining the service at random.

Yet Krafcik insisted that Jaguar has a financial stake in the deal. Consumers will be able to request rides using a smartphone app.

The Google spinoff recently received permission from the State of Arizona to turn its pilot program into a fully commercial venture.

The ride-hailing network will first cover a 100-square-mile area in Phoenix, before expanding up to 600 square miles.

Nvidia pauses its self-driving auto tests in wake of Uber crash
At CES in January, the company announced that it was partnering with Uber on its autonomous vehicle tests. Waymo uses simulation in addition to physical testing.

The British carmaker's CEO Ralf Speth was clearly delighted as he joined Krafcik on stage.

"For JLR, this gives the company a huge boost on the tech side".

As Waymo described in a piece on Medium, the I-Pace is flawless for families who prioritize safety as well as single-person users who want a sleek ride. "We're sure Waymo riders will enjoy the safe, premium and delightful experience that the self-driving I-PACE will provide".

The I-Pace electric crossover will be built in Austria by contract assembler Magna, rather than at Jaguar Land Rover's various plants in the U.K., Eastern Europe, and China. As such, some potential US customers "may have a wait".

While Tempe police initially suggested the Uber vehicle was not to blame, that has been questioned by a number of observers and a federal safety team is now probing the crash.

That's despite the fact that earlier this month a 49-year-old woman was struck and killed by a self-driving Uber that was being tested in Tempe, Arizona.

A week after the incident, Uber suspended all of its autonomous vehicle testing operations.

Jaguar and Waymo join forces to build driverless I-Pace