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Waymo to expand its robotic ride-hailing cars fleet with 20,000 new Jaguars

The 20,000 "I-Pace" models will provide up to 1 million rides per day, according to Waymo

AP | PTI  |  New York 

Jaguar F Pace. Photo: @JaguarIndia
Jaguar F Pace. Photo: @JaguarIndia

will buy up to 20,000 electric vehicles from to help realize its vision for a robotic ride-hailing service.

The commitment announced today marks another step in Waymo's evolution from a secret project started in nine years ago to a that's gearing up for an audacious attempt to reshape the business.

The deal will expand upon a fleet of that has been gradually building in partnership with since 2015. initially equipped about 600 Pacifica minivans with its before negotiating to buy "thousands" more of the vehicles.

The minivans will be part of a ride-hailing service that Waymo plans to launch in later this year. If all goes well, Waymo expects to expand the service to other states.

will deliver its vehicles for Waymo's ride-hailing from 2020 to 2022. The 20,000 "I-Pace" models will provide up to 1 million rides per day, according to Waymo.

Financial terms of Jaguar's deal with Waymo weren't disclosed. Jaguar lists the starting price for its I-Pace model at about USD 70,000, a figure that translates into USD 1.4 billion for 20,000 vehicles.

The alliance with Jaguar will give Waymo a way to appeal to passengers who want to ride in a more or want to avoid the pollution caused by vehicles fueled by gasoline.

Waymo's planned ride-hailing service poses a potential threat to and Lyft, the early leaders in that still-developing field. Both and are trying to ward off Waymo by developing their own self-driving cars, even though they got a late start in

Uber's efforts suffered a major setback when one of its autonomous cars struck and killed a pedestrian in Tempe, last week. On Monday, Gov. suspended Uber's self-driving vehicle testing privileges, stating in a letter to that video footage of the crash raised concerns about the San Francisco-based company's ability to safely test its technology in

Without mentioning Uber, Waymo emphasized the company's track record for safety while its cars have traveled more than 5 million miles on public roads as its engineers have continued to fine tune the

First Published: Wed, March 28 2018. 07:00 IST