Waymo and Jaguar Land Rover are partnering to create a new fleet of all-electric, self-driving vehicles.
John Krafcik, CEO of Google's self-driving car affiliate, said the company plans to add up to 20,000 all-electric, self-driving Jaguar I-Pace models to Waymo's fleet in the next few years for the company's ride-hailing transportation service, which is scheduled to launch this year in Phoenix.
"This is the self-driving car that car lovers have been looking for," he said while unveiling one of the vehicles a day before the New York auto show. "This is a production-ready vehicle."
Waymo will start testing the self-driving I-Pace later this year; however, production of the up to 20,000 vehicles isn’t expected to start until 2020, according to officials.
“Moving the required boundaries of technology cannot be done in isolation by a single company any more,” said Ralf Speth, CEO of Jaguar Land Rover, during the event. “So you look for partners who share your dreams … add value to your own imagination and who are leading in their respective fields.”
Krafcik said the long-term partnership with Jaguar Land Rover is part of its goal to tailor its self-driving fleets to the needs of individual customers. It is the sixth type of vehicle Waymo has added its technology to, including a large fleet of self-driving Chrysler Pacifica minivans through a partnership with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles that was announced in 2016.
“Our model at Waymo isn’t to be a car company,” Krafcik said. “We think there are amazing companies like Jaguar Land Rover in the world for us to partner with, and so we are very, very happy with that. Our role in the world we see very clearly is to build the world’s most experienced driver and to deploy that driver in as many places as we can to help move the world to a better place.”
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