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Waymo to use 20,000 Jaguar SUVs for Driverless Cab Venture

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Jaguar will provide Alphabet’s Waymo with up to 20,000 vehicles.

Alphabet-owned driverless mobility company Waymo has struck a deal with British carmaker Jaguar Land Rover, which will provide the company with up to 20,000 electric cars for its newly-launched self-driving cab service.

Announced at the New York motor show, the deal (estimated value £1.3 billion) is only the latest step Waymo has taken to up its game and scar off its competitors. ( Even if its bête-noire-in-chief Uber has temporarily self-defeated itself through a deadly Arizona crash. )

The company—previously a unit of Google’s moonshot factory X—has also partnered with Italian-American carmaker FCA, which announced it would provide the company with “thousands” of minivans in January 2018.

Jaguar is slated to start delivering its vehicles —electric I-Pace SUVs— in 2020. Jaguar vehicles equipped with Waymo’s driverless tech will be trialled in Arizona starting from late 2018.

A statement from Jaguar defined the cooperation as “a long-term strategic partnership” to bring about a premium autonomous vehicle service to the market. Waymo plans to use the new cars to provide up to a million rides a day.

“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.

“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.”

Waymo CEO John Krafcik also commented on the deal in a statement: “While we’ve been focused at Waymo on building the world’s most experienced driver, the team at Jaguar Land Rover has developed an all-new battery-electric platform that looks to set a new standard in safety, design and capability,” he said.

Image via Jaguar Land Rover/Waymo

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