While Uber’s self-driving car technology is currently imploding, Waymo is making huge steps forward. In a joint press conference, Waymo-CEO John Krafcik and Jaguar-CEO Ralf Speth announced a partnership between the two companies. Based on the full electrical Jaguar iPace the companies will bring 20.000 cars equipped with Waym-technology on the road to operate a robotaxi-fleet for the public.
The Jaguar iPace is the sixth generation of vehicles that Waymo is using. At the same time it’s the first premium car. The cars will be driving in geofenced areas Level 4 autonomous, which means that they don’t require any drivers behind the wheels. Waymo started those tests end of 2017 and invited the participants of the Early-Rider-program to use the cars only a few days ago.
This announcement is another coup for Waymo. Besides Fiat Chrysler Waymo now added another partner that can help bring the self-driving car technology on the road. In addition to the several thousand of Fiat Chrysler Pacifica Minivans Waymo adds now 20,000 Jaguar iPace to Waymo’s self-driving fleet.
With this number of vehicles Waymo is also making a quantum leap that will help improve the self-driving technology dramatically. The more vehicles they operate on roads, the faster driving scenarios and experiences are accumulated, which then can be used to improve all cars in the fleet. To close the gap to Waymo’s lead will become even tougher for competitors. Waymo today has disengagements only every 5,400 miles.
Jaguar itself catapults itself with this partnership into the Olymp of leading car manufacturers in that space. Other premium manufacturers are now forced to increase their efforts in autonomous and electric vehicle development.
Here is the recording of today’s live stream:
This article has also been published in German.