As the press days for the New York International Auto Show are about to begin, Waymo announced a long-term partnership with Jaguar Land Rover to add the all-new Jaguar I-Pace to its fleet of self-driving vehicles.
John Krafcik, Waymo CEO, announced that Waymo will be adding up to 20,000 I-Paces to its fleet within the first two years of production.
For a little perspective, Krafcik said 20K I-Pace vehicles could give 1 million rides a day.
The I-Pace will mark the first all-electric vehicle in the Waymo lineup as it joins the other five vehicles currently in its fleet: a small car, an SUV, the Firefly, a minivan and a semi.
The production version of the I-Pace was revealed earlier this month and will have an estimated 240 miles of range. It is equipped with a 90 kWh battery that can receive an 80 percent charge in 85 minutes with a 50 kWh DC rapid charger.
This collaboration is part of a greater Waymo initiative to create sustainable and attainable transportation for everyone.
Krafcik announced that Waymo will start offering a driverless transportation service later this year.
Interestingly, the first rollout of the service will begin in Pheonix, Ariz., the site of the recent self-driving Uber crash.
Krafcik addressed safety concerns by stating that Waymo has been testing their self-driving technology for almost a decade with 5 million miles of actual on-the-road testing and 5 billion miles of driving simulation.
“We like to consider it the longest on-going driving test,” Krafcik said.
The initial service will cover 100 square miles in the Phoenix area, eventually covering 600 square miles before rolling out to other cities. Plans for other cities where the service will be offered have not been announced.
However, Krafcik was quick to stress that Waymo is not a car company, and it doesn’t intend to be one.
“We think there are amazing companies like Jaguar Land Rover to partner with,” Krafcik said. “Our role is to build the worlds most experienced driver.”
The first Waymo I-Pace tests will begin in 2018, and it will become a part of Waymo's driverless fleet in 2020.