Waymo: Jaguar I-Pace has landed
Last March, Alphabet's self-driving spinoff announced that it would be partnering with Jaguar to use the English manufacturer's electric SUV, I-PACE. The first Waymo I-Pace vehicles were seen driving in the Bay Area today.
A tweet by Tim Higgins of the Wall Street Journal broke the news this morning. The tweeted photo shows a standard, gray coloured I-PACE, decorated with WAYMO's logo roaming the streets of the Bay Area. The car does not seem to be equipped with any autonomous driving equipment, something Mr. Higgins confirmed in a follow-up to a question by one of his followers. As TechCrunch reported, Waymo is testing the vehicle's performance to generate the requirements for their autonomous driving system and develop durability tests. The Waymo/Jaguar I-PACE will not be retro-fitted with AV hardware, but it will be rolled out of the factory with the Waymo's AV equipment built-in.
Waymo had already made public their intentions to add up to 20,000 I-PACE to their fleet, in order to complete up to a million trips a day, using the electric SUV. As the press statement from last March explained, Waymo's vehicles will offer riders different options, including configurations optimised for in-vehicle dining, napping, or remote working. Waymo is expected to make their robotaxi service available to the masses in Arizona later in the year, employing Chrysler's well-tested Pacifica vans. It is not yet known whether the I-PACEs will also be available to ride in Arizona, although the vehicle is not expected to be integrated into Waymo's ride-hailing fleet until 2020.
Cover Photo Credit: Waymo