Waymo is teaming up with Jaguar to add another 20,000 vehicles to its fleet of autonomous cars. The company will use a new Jaguar luxury electric car called the I-Pace. Motor Trend magazine has called this vehicle “the first car to challenge Tesla‘s hegemony in the premium electric vehicle segment.”
“Our ultimate goal is to provide a self-driving vehicle tailored to every trip and every purpose,” said CEO John Krafcik on stage today at New York’s Chelsea Piers.
This year, Waymo will build out and begin testing self-driving I-Pace cars, but those vehicles won’t become part of its fleet until 2020. This latest deal will no doubt sting Tesla, which has struggled with its autonomous technology. Tesla CEO Elon Musk, with his repeated showboating of his car’s advanced assisted-driver capabilities, put pressure on automakers and other self-driving car outfits to build their technology quickly. But the company’s competitors appear to be surpassing the unconventional electric car company.
So far, Waymo has been building its technology into Chrysler Hybrid Pacifica minivans, a vehicle more geared toward families. In February, Waymo announced it would buy an unspecified “thousands” of these vehicles. The company is currently testing autonomous rides with an expanding group of riders in Arizona. It is also plans to launch a self-driving-car ride-hail service later this year starting in Phoenix.
Waymo boasts 5 million autonomous miles driven on roads in 25 cities around the country. It has driven another 5 billion in simulation.