If driverless cars are the future, the future may have come another step closer to reality on Tuesday.
The first I-Pace prototype will hit the road with Waymo tech at the end of the year, but most users of the Waymo on-demand ride-hailing app won't be able to take a ride in the autonomous Jag until at least 2020. Witness, therefore, the news today that Waymo and Jaguar will collaborate to turn the new I-PACE all-electric SUV into the latest self-driving chariot.
Waymo is competing with rivals General Motors Co. and Uber Technologies Inc.to deploy such vehicles for the masses.
Meanwhile Waymo is testing its connected cars in locations across the USA, including Detroit, Michigan; Atlanta, Georgia; and Austin, Texas.
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.
With the Jaguar I-PACE we have a world-beating auto that's captured the imagination of customers around the world. Without resorting to flash and drama during his presentation, Krafcik still left no doubt about what Waymo thinks of its partnership with Jaguar.
"Our ultimate goal is to provide a self-driving vehicle tailored to every trip and every objective", said CEO John Krafcik on stage today at New York's Chelsea Piers.
Waymo's news comes after the first death caused by an autonomously-driven vehicle owned by Uber just nine days ago, in Tempe, Arizona. The long-term goal for Waymo remains safety, says Krafcik. "That's the world we're building", the company said.
The Alphabet-owned company is planning to add 20,000 of the luxury SUVs outfitted with its class-leading self-driving vehicle technology within the next two years. Waymo is also playing the long game as it looks to launch a large-scale transportation service using self-driving vehicles.