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There could be 20,000 driverless Jaguars on the road by 2020

A load of fully-autonomous I-Paces will become part of Waymo's driverless fleet

Jaguar has partnered with Waymo (Google’s self-driving project, now its own company under the Alphabet umbrella) to get “up to 20,000” entirely driverless I-Paces on the road by 2020.

I-Paces fitted with Waymo’s self-driving tech’ will start testing later this year, and before long will be available to users of the “world’s first self-driving transportation service”, which Waymo says will let members of the public use its “fully self-driving cars every day, whether they’re traveling to work, school [or] soccer practice”. It launches later this year in Phoenix, Arizona.

JLR and Waymo will “work together” to design and engineer these self-driving I-Paces. They’ll become part of what Waymo claims is the world’s only fleet of fully self-driving cars – with no one sat in the driver’s seat – that operates on public roads.

Jaguar’s first all-electric car sits on an all-new aluminium architecture that uses a 90kwh lithium-ion battery as a structural component. It’s the stiffest car Jaguar makes, with a centre of gravity some 130mm lower than an F-Pace’s.

Jag claims a range of 298 miles on the strict WLTP cycle, plus 0-60mph in 4.5 seconds thanks to a combined 394bhp and 512lb ft from two permanent magnet synchronous motors. A 100kW rapid charger can deliver an 80 per cent charge in 45 minutes. It costs from £58,995, and you can order one now.

JLR CEO Dr. Ralf Speth says for his company, it’s “about providing the right mobility service at the right time”, and that the self-driving car is an issue of choice. “You can either shape the future or be shaped by it…When you are stuck in a traffic jam, the car can drive itself. But when you want to take the wheel yourself, you can.”

Waymo CEO John Krafcik tells us the I-Pace is “the self-driving car that car lovers have been waiting for”, and that the technology it’ll be fitted with has gone through what he thinks is “the toughest driving test in the world”.

“Our cars have covered five million autonomous miles on roads in 25 different American cities,” he says. “In addition, then have travelled five billion miles in simulations, and we have been subjected to 20,000 individual tests in Waymo’s test ‘city’.”

“We’ve been working on this tech for almost a decade,” he says, when asked about the recent death of a pedestrian struck by one of Uber’s self-driving cars. “In our view, it’s the world’s longest ongoing driving test. Our focus is on creating the world’s most experienced driver. Our ‘riders’ safety is the overwhelming priority for all of us at Waymo.”

What say ye, Internet? Will you be hailing one of Waymo’s driverless Jags?

Tom Harrison/Jason Barlow

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