Published: Thu, March 29, 2018
Finance | By Jaime Brady

Jaguar sets pace with self-driving auto

Jaguar sets pace with self-driving auto

Waymo, which was formerly known as the Google Self-Driving Car Project, operates the only fleet of completely driverless vehicles allowed on public roads.

As part of the deal with Jaguar, Waymo plans to have 20,000 units on the streets, starting in Phoenix with about 100 square mile area, roughly one-sixth of the Phoenix metropolitan area.

Krafcik said that testing of the Jaguar vehicles will begin this year, with incorporation into the fleet from 2020. By 2022, there could be as many as 20,000 electric vehicles able to conduct about 1 million trips a day.

Waymo now tests its self-driving system on Chrysler Pacifica minivans built by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

"We can make this premium experience accessible for everyone", he said. The I-Pace, which will cost £63,495, is its first fully electric vehicle.

But other companies, including Waymo, are still testing - and Waymo is the only company that has vehicles on the road with no human backup drivers in the front seats to take over in an emergency.

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In a previous report, Ars Technica dubbed Waymo's self-driving software as the best in the world, with the publication taking particular note of the company's several layers of redundancies, including redundant controls for its cars' brakes, steering, and power supply.

Waymo plans to launch the world's first self-driving auto service that users can hail with an app.

Krafcik was extremely vague at the event when asked how many cities he'd like to see Waymo in in the next two years.

Toyota Motor said last week it was temporarily pausing autonomous vehicle testing following the Uber crash on U.S. public roads to help its test drivers, who could be experiencing "an emotional effect" from the incident.

"We all have to build some trust into the technology and obviously this would be a little bit of a setback", Fay said. "Today, we're talking about moving forward into the future with technology we're very confident in, with the I-PACE, and integration of our driver with I-PACE is a safe benchmark for the world".

Earlier this year, the two companies finally settled a trade dispute in which Waymo accused the former head of Uber's autonomous program of stealing proprietary data from Waymo.

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