Up to 20,000 self-driving I-Pace vehicles will be built in the first two years of production and be available for riders of Waymo's driverless service. The tech company is already piloting a ride-hailing service with a fleet of Chrysler Pacifica minivans in Arizona.
This morning at Chelsea Piers in NYC, Waymo CEO John Krafcik announced a new model of vehicle powered by Waymo's self-driving technology. Waymo has previously said it is discussing a collaboration with Honda Motor Co Ltd.
"We can make this premium experience accessible for everyone", he said.
Waymo announced the partnership at the NY motor show.
"That Waymo want to offer one million rides a day shows they're definitely going after Uber", commented Mr Stevens. Jaguar lists the starting price for its I-Pace model at about $70,000, a figure that translates into $1.4 billion for 20,000 vehicles. The SUV is the first battery-powered vehicle for the brand, underscoring the convergence of electrification and automation. Company executives said the talks and development had been underway for about a year.
In a previous report, Ars Technica dubbed Waymo's self-driving software as the best in the world, with the publication taking particular note of the company's several layers of redundancies, including redundant controls for its cars' brakes, steering, and power supply.
Waymo, which was founded in 2009 and was originally known as the Google Self-Driving Car Project, claims to be the only company to have a fleet made up entirely of autonomous vehicles.
Above Waymo Jaguar I-PACE
Tensions are running sky-high among self-driving vehicle operators in the wake of a crash by a self-driving Uber that killed a pedestrian in Arizona, as people are wondering whether self-driving cars are a good idea, after all, particularly since the Uber reportedly didn't even brake significantly before hitting the woman. He said Waymo is now negotiating with Honda and other vehicle makers to forge other potential partnerships.
Arizona's governor suspended testing by Uber on Monday. In the meantime, the Waymo Jaguar I-PACE will be shown at the 2018 New York International Auto Show, which opens to the public on Friday, March 30th.
Waymo's planned ride-hailing service poses a potential threat to Uber and Lyft, the early leaders in that still-developing field.
Uber announced previous year that it planned to buy up to 24,000 vehicles from Volvo, owned by China's Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd, in a non-exclusive deal from 2019 to 2021.
Toyota Motor said last week it was temporarily pausing autonomous vehicle testing following the Uber crash on USA public roads to help its test drivers, who could be experiencing "an emotional effect" from the incident.
The commitment, announced Tuesday during a NY event that was also webcast, marks another step in Waymo's evolution from a secret project started in Google nine years ago to a spin-off that's gearing up for an audacious attempt to reshape the transportation business. "That's the world we're building".
General Motors North America President Alan Batey told reporters in Monday in NY that the automaker's "development process will continue".