Jaguar reveals driverless I-Pace cars for Waymo ride-hailing service
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Jaguar reveals driverless I-Pace cars for Google's Waymo project

Jaguar is set to design and engineer a driverless fleet of its electric I-Pace vehicles for Waymo, Google's autonomous car spin-off.

The partnership between Jaguar and Waymo was announced at the New York International Auto Show last week.

Jaguar to produce fleet of driverless I-Pace cars for Waymo's ride-hailing service

With production scheduled to start as soon as 2020, the luxury British motor company is set to provide up to 20,000 I-Pace models for the driverless ride-hailing service by 2022. According to the two firms, these vehicles will deliver as many as one million trips per day.

"This long-term strategic collaboration will further Waymo and Jaguar Land Rover's shared goals: to make cars safer, free up people's valuable time and improve mobility for everyone," said the auto brand.

Jaguar to produce fleet of driverless I-Pace cars for Waymo's ride-hailing service

Jaguar first presented its I-Pace car as a concept at the LA Auto Show in November 2016. The vehicle is now available to order after a production model was unveiled in a live broadcast on 1 March 2018 ahead of the Geneva Motor Show.

The partnership with Waymo will see the I-Pace – Jaguar's first fully-electric SUV vehicle – equipped with Waymo's autonomous technologies.

Able to travel 310 miles (500 kilometres) on a single charge, the vehicle can accelerate from zero to 62 miles per hour (100 kilometres per hour) in approximately four seconds.

"With the Jaguar I-Pace we have a world-beating car that's captured the imagination of customers around the world. Our passion for further advancing smart mobility needs expert long-term partners," said Jaguar Land Rover CEO Ralf Speth.

Jaguar to produce fleet of driverless I-Pace cars for Waymo's ride-hailing service

"In joining forces with Waymo we are pioneering to push the boundaries of technology. Together we will deliver the self-driving Waymo Jaguar I-Pace with the grace, space and eco-pace that customers expect," he added.

Google announced in 2016 that its self-driving car project would continue life as a separate entity named Waymo, a subsidiary of Google's parent company, Alphabet.

Later that year, the company unveiled the first vehicle under its new name – a driverless Chrysler minivan. In 2017, it was granted a patent for a design that would see its vehicles automatically soften if they collide with a pedestrian.

Jaguar to produce fleet of driverless I-Pace cars for Waymo's ride-hailing service

But public apprehension about self-driving taxi services has recently heightened, after a woman was killed by an autonomous Uber vehicle in Arizona on 18 March 2018.

This was the first pedestrian to be killed by a driverless car, and Uber has since temporarily suspended all self-driving operations in Phoenix, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Toronto while an investigation into the incident continues.

Waymo says this leaves it as "the only company with a fleet of fully self-driving cars – with no one in the front seat – on public roads."