Jaguar's first all-electric vehicle goes driverless in tie-up with Waymo

Customers will be able to hail a self-driving I-PACE starting in late 2018 in Phoenix Arizona

Customers will be able to hail a self-driving I-PACE starting in late 2018 in Phoenix

Waymo plans to outfit 20,000 units to be used for Waymo's public self-driving service over the next few years, which will allow the service to offer 1 million rides per day.

The Coventry-based auto company has agreed a partnership to provide its first ever electric vehicle, the I-Pace, to Waymo, Google's self-driving vehicle arm.

During his presentation of the autonomous I-PACE, Krafcik stated that Waymo's self-driving vehicles continue to go through the "world's longest and toughest ongoing driving test". This hardware will work hand-in-hand with Waymo's AI-powered software, which will enable the vehicles to pick up and drop off passengers in selected areas without a human driver.

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Back in October 2017, Waymo conducted the first public road tests with no one in the driver's seat in the Phoenix suburb of Chandler.

The company says that such a fleet of vehicles will be able to complete a million rides in a single day. The vehicles "will soon be playing a vital full-time role in Waymo's driverless transportation service", it said.

Waymo's CEO John Krafcik has been vocal about how its autonomous technology differs from Uber's. The current fleet of Chrysler Pacifica minivans are capacious but boringly earnest; the homegrown Google "pod" cars were always cute, but never cool.

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This news comes at a precarious time in the self-driving world. It's a sleek SUV that's said to be ideal for city driving. Instead of everyone running around like headless chickens trying to create their own self-driving systems, manufacturers can simply link up with Waymo and get everything they need fully developed and tested.

Alphabet's autonomous driving company, Waymo, announced today that it's getting into the ride-sharing business-and that it's building a special vehicle to do it. This is a sleek and graceful vehicle, so it will provide a safe and delightful experience for our passengers.

"We're sure Waymo riders will enjoy the safe, premium and delightful experience that the self-driving I-Pace will provide".

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Uber immediately suspended all testing of driverless cars and said it is "fully cooperating" with authorities. One of Uber's self-driving cars was recently involved in a fatal collision with a pedestrian, which may slow public adoption of the technology.

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