The Alphabet company’s, parent to Google, autonomous driving arm Waymo just announced a huge deal with the Jaguar Land Rover Motor company which will see the two form a partnership whereby they will engineer and produce the world’s fist fully autonomous self driving fleet of cars.
The reports suggest that Waymo will be developing over twenty thousand autonomous versions of the Jaguar Land Rover’s first ever electric vehicle, the I-pace, which is slated to try and hit the consumer market later this year. This announcement comes on the heels of the first documented tragedy in Phoenix, Arizona recently where a pedestrian was struck and killed by an autonomous Uber vehicle built on the Volvo platform. While there will be an absolute crush of media attention to all things autonomous, especially in the United States, the Waymo company is confident that the public will embrace the notion of electric, self driving cars, in time. The company’s vision is one in which we will be able to tailor our use of vehicles to what activity we’re engaged in and sited examples like going to a family sporting event in a minivan and then going out on the town in a sporty car.Waymo is no stranger to the autonomous driving game and negative publicity with the very public law suits between them and Uber. It’s reported that Waymo has already surpassed five million miles of driverless testing and has launched an autonomous minivan, see note above, as is in the process of building out its ride sharing platform and has plans on launching and testing their self driving transport trucks in the very near future and sees the move into fully electric versions of this as a natural evolution. The partnership comes at an opportune time for both companies as it is widely known that the Jaguar Land Rover company is a laggard in the electric vehicle game and they hope that this will reposition them as leaders, while Waymo is just looking for some positive press after the year its had.