Waymo And Jaguar Partner For Fleet Of 20,000 I-PACE Self-Driving Electric SUVs
Waymo's current fleet consists primarily of Lexus RX 450h Hybrid crossovers (which are being phased out) and Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans. "Imagine a world where you can take a self-driving minivan to the baseball game with family, and a self-driving I-PACE home after a night out — in both cases, a car perfectly suited for your needs," said the Waymo Team in a Medium posting. "That’s the world we’re building."
With a full fleet of 20,000 vehicles, Waymo estimates that it would be able to fulfill a million rides in a single day. This is an addition to the 600 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrids that company already has in its fleet. The first fleet of Jaguar I-PACE EVs will be darting around a 100 square miles segment of the Phoenix metropolitan area.
The I-PACE is capable of traveling up to 240 miles per charge and can be taken from a completely empty battery to an 80 percent charge in 40 minutes using a 100kW DC fast charger. This would also be the most powerful vehicle in Waymo's fleet by far with a combined 400hp and 512 lb-ft of torque from its dual electric motors. The I-PACE is capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds and has a top speed of 124 mph, although we highly doubt that passengers will be able to go that fast with Waymo's fleet.
"At Waymo, we’ve been building the world’s most experienced driver: a safe, skillful and savvy chauffeur that can take people and things from A to B at the push of a button."
Safety is paramount when it comes to self-driving vehicles, as Uber found out with deadly consequences last week. One of its self-driving Volvo XC90 SUVs failed to identify a pedestrian jaywalking at night or to apply the brakes, resulting in the dead of a woman. The human driver that is supposed to be a backup in case the autonomous systems fail also wasn't paying attention, as she was looking away from the road at time of the accident.
Waymo CEO John Krafcik stated at the National Automobile Dealers Association that such a horrible accident wouldn't have happened under his watch. “At Waymo, we have a lot of confidence that our technology would be able to handle a situation like that," said Krafcik.