Jaguar Land Rover has announced they’ll be sending new I-PACE electric SUVs to be converted into self-driving cars.
In a press release, Jaguar Land Rover announced a strategic partnership with Google’s self-driving car company, Waymo. The autonomous carmakers will use Jaguar’s new I-PACE electric SUV for their fleet of self-driving cars and will be available with Waymo’s new ride-hailing service that begins operations later this year.
Currently, Waymo has a fleet of Chrysler Pacificas that have been converted into self-driving minivans thanks to Waymo’s advanced suite of software and sensors. The I-PACE will join those minivans and offer an electric option that is far more luxurious than the Chrysler people-mover.
As a strategic partnership, Waymo will take delivery of 20,000 I-PACEs built over a two-year span. Waymo will get their I-PACEs around the same time the rest of us will see them, which is later in the second half of 2018.
Currently, Waymo is the only self-driving carmaker with an autonomous car on the road that has nobody behind the wheel. Waymo will begin a ride-hailing service later this year, where the I-PACE will “be available for riders of Waymo’s driverless service, serving a potential one million trips per day.”
"While we've been focused at Waymo on building the world's most experienced 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,” said Waymo CEO John Krafcik in a press release.
“We're sure Waymo riders will enjoy the safe, premium and delightful experience that the self-driving I-PACE will provide."
Waymo and Jaguar will continue their partnership until 2026, at which point they’ll have the option to become bitter rivals or merely catty exes that don’t return each other’s calls. One would assume if all goes according to plan we’ll be seeing electric Jaguars rolling around the urban centers of America in far greater numbers than anything else on the road.
It looks like GM, Volkswagen, and Toyota have some catching up to do.