After launching a partnership with Jaguar Land Rover, Waymo, the self-driving vehicle unit of Alphabet, has now started testing self-driving Jaguar I-Pace vehicles on public streets.
Back in March, Waymo and Jaguar Land Rover announced they were teaming up to create the world’s first high-end, electric, fully self-driving vehicle for Waymo’s transportation service.
Waymo said at the time that the new self-driving vehicle, dubbed I-PACE, will combine Jaguar’s knack for design with self-driving technology by Waymo, all developed in-house. Waymo plans to add up to 20,000 I-PACE vehicles to its fleet over the next few years, which it said is enough to drive around 1 million trips in a typical day, offering its self-driving services to communities around the country.
“At Waymo, we’ve been building the world’s most experienced driver: a safe, skillful and savvy chauffeur that can take people and things from A to B at the push of a button,” the company wrote in the blog post. “Imagine a world where you can take a self-driving minivan to the baseball game with family and a self-driving I-PACE home after a night out — in both cases, a car perfectly suited for your needs. That’s the world we’re building.”
Waymo said the new self-driving I-PACE vehicles will begin tests later in 2018 and will soon play an important role in the company’s driverless transportation service.
Now according to TechCrunch, the vehicle — with a safety driver behind the wheel — is being tested around Waymo’s headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. Waymo confirmed the report.
Waymo received its first three I-Paces in July 2018. The cars have been driven around the San Francisco Bay Area collecting data, but not in autonomous mode. Waymo plans to launch the I-Pace vehicles into its self-driving ride-hailing fleet next year.
“This is just the beginning. The self-driving products of the future will be designed around passengers, not drivers. That means riders will be able to choose from a broad array of options that will match their very specific needs: one for working remotely as you commute, one for dining with friends, even one designed for napping! The ultimate goal: with Waymo as the driver, products tailored for every purpose and every trip,” the post in March stated.