Indian automotive firm Tata Motors-owned Jaguar Land Rover will now provide 20,000 of its electric I-Pace cars to Waymo. Waymo is the subsidiary of Google’s parent firm Alphabet, and it will convert these electric cars to self-driving vehicles to prep up for its upcoming ride-hailing service.
The deal was announced in the New York Motor show and is worth up to £1.3bn. This shows the drive that Waymo, as well as Google, has to be the dominating leader in the driverless ride-hailing service, the same segment Uber aims to consolidate.
However, Uber has run-ins with legal spats, and the recent incident where its driverless car led to the death of a pedestrian has given Waymo a significant margin which it can translate into a win.
This is also a big step up for Indian origin Tata Motors, whose golden goose the Jaguar Land Rover, which is ironically positioned as Britain’s biggest car manufacturer because it has found a partner in Waymo while making its initial steps to the electric car segment, a segment which is also nascent.
Jaguar Land Rover will start providing its EVs to Waymo from 2020. As per Waymo, these 20,000 I-Pace models will be able to offer 1m rides per day for its ride-hailing service.
Jaguar Land Rover emphasised that although they will produce the said EVs in Austria, the cars are British designed and engineered. Tata Motors and JLR didn’t put a price tag on the deal, but the retail value for an I-Pace in the UK is around £63,000. JLR said that this is “a long-term strategic partnership,” the testing of these I-Pace cars bundled with Waymo’s self-driving technology will kick-start in Arizona sometime later this year.
Jaguar Land Rover chief executive Ralf Speth stated: “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.
Moreover, “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.”
In this occasion, the chief executive of Waymo John Krafcik mentioned, “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.”