Waymo and Jaguar team up for self-driving electric SUVs

By : |March 29, 2018 0

Alphabet’s self-driving unit, Waymo has teamed up with Jaguar Land Rover to add tens of thousands of all-electric I-Pace SUVs to its growing lineup of self-driving taxis.

Waymo unveiled the new vehicle at a press event in New York City on Tuesday and said it expected to begin production on the cars equipped with its technology in 2020. In the first two years, the companies expect to manufacture 20,000 cars.

It’s a huge expansion for Waymo, which has around 600 vehicles on the roads now, and an existing partnership with Chrysler for “thousands” more minivans. The company also owns a fleet of prototype self-driving Lexus RX SUVs that are being phased out in favor of the minivans.

Jaguar’s tie-up with Waymo is another in a series by car manufacturers with new technology firms, following Ford partnering with Lyft and Uber with Volvo.

Waymo and Jaguar Land Rover’s engineers will together work to build these cars to be self-driving from the start, rather than retrofitting them after they come off the assembly line. The manufacturer said it would be “a long-term strategic partnership” to develop the world’s first premium self-driving electric vehicle. Testing of the Jaguar car, equipped with Waymo’s self-driving technology, will start in Arizona later this year.

Waymo’s latest self-driving partnership comes in the backdrop of Uber’s Tempe crash involving a self-driving car that killed a pedestrian. In response, Uber temporarily halted its self-driving testing, while the governor of Arizona suspended the ride-hailing company from further testing in the state. Police in Tempe and the US National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the incident.

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