Waymo Using 20,000 Jaguar I-Pace SUVs for Driverless Car Service

Waymo says it will begin testing the I-Pace later this year.

byRob Stumpf|
Electric Vehicles photo

Despite all of the uncertainty surrounding autonomous cars right now, Google's sister company, Waymo, is continuing to jump headfirst into the future. In a surprising announcement, the company said it was partnering with Jaguar Land Rover to purchase and deploy up to 20,000 of the company's new I-Pace SUVs for its driverless ride-hailing service.

The all-electric Jaguar I-Pace is arguably one of the best looking next-generation SUVs coming to market. It's sleek, stylish, and absolutely a modern looking vehicle. On top of it looking fantastic, it's also an electric car. Outfitted with Waymo's proprietary blend of sensors and software, the I-Pace is on track to overtake the existing fleet of Chrysler Pacifica minivans already operating in Arizona.

Waymo says with its full fleet of 20,000 I-Paces, it will be able to deliver nearly a million trips each day within a "few years." To say that number is impressive is an understatement. The business model itself could revolutionize the urban commuting market, paving the way for a new transportation platform to operate alongside public transportation and give commuters a potentially safer alternative than relying on the human behind the wheel.

The ride-hailing service isn't just planning a "one car fits all" scenario. Instead, the goal is for riders to choose the car that fits their needs. Whether you want an I-Pace for teleworking, going out for a night on the town with friends, or even napping, just sit back and relax as Waymo worries about driving. It might seem unbelievable at first, but the concept of a driverless car may be mundane in a decade or less.

As with any partnership, the potential for technology sharing is exciting speculation as well. Waymo has been working to perfect its autonomous driving components for quite some time, and to fulfill another scope of its business model, Waymo could potentially license the proprietary systems to Jaguar Land Rover for use with its consumer vehicles, allowing for a well-refined solution to make its way to the public.

Waymo will begin testing the I-Pace later this year.