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Jaguar and Waymo are teaming up to make 20,000 self-driving i-Paces

Published: 27 March 2018

► Jaguar and Waymo teaming up
► 20,000 cars to be built in two years
► Puts Jaguar at forefront of driverless tech

The new Jaguar i-Pace might be one of the most significant electric vehicles to be released in 2018, but it’s now going to be a poster child for autonomous technology, too.

Today, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) announced it’ll be partnering with Waymo in a long-term deal – and it should result in a 20,000-strong fleet of self-driving EVs in the first two years of production.

If you’re interested, that’ll clock up around 1 million trips per day by the time the deal is fully operational later this decade.

Read our Jaguar i-Pace review here

According to reports, the self-driving taxi service will begin later this year, and should provide a huge benefit for both companies. Jaguar is still a minnow compared with the giants of the car tech scene, such as the VW Group, Daimler, BMW or even Tesla – but this deal will reshape that perception, we'd wager.

JLR reckons it'll propel the British car maker to the forefront of driverless tech – and with Waymo owned by Alphabet, Google’s parent company, it’s certainly not short of investment.

Jaguar and Waymo: a one-sided deal?

The Jaguar i-Pace is a huge car for JLR and, on the surface, this looks to be a fairly one-sided deal. However, dig slightly deeper, and it’s just as beneficial for Waymo as it is for Jaguar.

For the last few years, tech companies and car manufacturers have constantly courted each other, and that’s because deals like this are mutually beneficial for both sides. Yes, Jaguar now has access to far more driverless tech than before – but Waymo has now unlocked a thousands-strong fleet of EVs, and with that, miles and miles of data and experience.

Read our guide to autonomous car levels here

Real-world testing is most important to Silicon Valley companies, because it allows them to constantly test and develop their software using a process called machine learning. It’s a way of making software ‘more intelligent’ by feeding it more real-world situations, and it’s how autonomous software is going to be perfected to make it a reality for more and more motorists around the world.

This new flood of 20,000 autonomous Jaguars is going to accelerate Waymo’s driverless plans exponentially.

More car tech stories by CAR magazine

By Curtis Moldrich

CAR's online editor and racing-sim enthusiast

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