Waymo and Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) have teamed up to develop a fully autonomous electric vehicle with the goal of growing the Alphabet company’s fleet of self-driving cars by 20,000 units in the next few years and serving around a million trips every day. The self-driving Jaguar I-PACE will incorporate Waymo’s proprietary self-driving technology into JLR’s vehicle to provide a safe travel to passengers as part of Waymo’s transportation service.
Prior to deploying the self-driving electric vehicles for public use, Waymo says the autonomous I-PACE will go through a series of road tests at the end of this year. It remains unclear, though, how much Waymo and JLR will earn individually once the driverless vehicles start to pick up paying passengers. The Jaguar I-PACE is a five-seater SUV announced earlier this month for the high end of the car market with a price tag of $69,500. The vehicle will complement Waymo’s existing fleet consisting of Chrysler Pacifica minivans, which the autonomous car development company says will grow by the thousands in the future. Most of these vehicles are expected to hit the road for testing in Arizona, where Waymo recently received an approval from the state’s Department of Transportation to operate as a Transportation Network Company and begin transporting humans using driverless cars. There’s no word yet from Waymo, however, when it exactly plans to kick off its driverless ride-hailing service in the state. It also remains unclear how much riders will pay for the driverless ride, though it is expected to be competitive with Uber’s rate.
Apart from Arizona, Waymo also reportedly started testing its self-driving Chrysler Pacifica minivans earlier in January in San Francisco, where the company conducted its very first self-driving experiments nine years ago. For its part, JLR has plans to test its autonomous driving technology as well, having recently announced that it will begin testing its self-driving vehicle in the UK in the near future, with the testing expected to revolve around self-driving valet parking, which will help drivers get into parking spaces. The company didn’t say when it will exactly begin the tests, though it is expected to take place in Milton Keynes, located in central England.