Waymo and Jaguar announce world's first premium electric self-driving SUV

The new Jaguar vehicle that will be available through a Waymo ride-hail service.  
     Waymo

"The I-Pace is the world's first premium electric vehicle".

The timing of the announcement is slightly unfortunate for Waymo, with the first pedestrian death by a self-driving vehicle still fresh in the memory.

"We want to build a self-driving vehicle for every passenger and every trip", said John Krafcik at the reveal.

In September, Bloomberg reported that Jaguar Land Rover was weighing purchases of technology companies that could boost its efforts to roll out electric vehicles and autonomous driving systems. Waymo is launching the service first in Phoenix, Arizona.

Waymo has been testing autonomous cars in the wild for some time and has already racked up more than 5 million autonomous miles.

The Associated Press reports that the financials of the deal were not reported, but that Jaguar lists the starting price for the I-PACE at about $70,000. The two companies said they've agreed to work together on a huge fleet of electric SUVs fitted with Waymo's self-driving technology. The battery capacity hasn't been confirmed by Waymo says that it can "drive all day". The company expects that the 20,000 I-Pace SUVs alone will be enough to give roughly a million trips in a single day.

Jaguar I-Pace
Jaguar I Pace Waymo

The two companies say they will develop the "world's first premium self-driving electric vehicle for Waymo's driverless transportation service". Anyone can hail a ride from the autonomous vehicle in the city starting later this year, though the Jags will not be for sale for the general public.

Uber first launched its self-driving auto program onto public roads in Pittsburgh back in September 2016.

"Our passion for further advancing smart mobility needs expert long-term partners", Prof.

Rather than outfitting a vehicle for self-driving technology, Waymo engineers collaborated with Jaguar's team throughout the I-Pace's development process.

The announcement was made ahead of the 2018 NY auto show, and signaled Waymo's broader interest in more automakers beyond past partners.

Many other autonomous driving firms are proceeding more cautiously now that we've seen what could be the first pedestrian death resulting from the technology, but Waymo is pressing forward even more aggressively.

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