Waymo’s newest addition to its self-driving fleet was revealed on Tuesday’s livestream event, dubbed The Next Step in Self-Driving. During the event, Waymo CEO John Krafcik took the wraps off the company’s latest self-driving vehicle — the all-electric Jaguar I-PACE — a small SUV that is being pushed as a competitor to the Tesla Model X.
Krafcik stated that the I-PACE would be a perfect addition to the company’s current fleet of vehicles, describing the car as the first premium all-electric fully self-driving car, and a vehicle that “car lovers are looking for.”
“Jaguar-Land Rover is the perfect partner for Waymo. They share our vision for the future, where roads are safer, and transportation is accessible to all,” John Krafcik said.
Safety is a huge theme of Waymo’s recent presentation, with Krafcik emphasizing the amount of experience that the company has gained in the self-driving field. Just like Waymo’s other self-driving vehicles, the company’s fleet of Jaguar I-PACE is equipped with a full suite of hardware and software, including an unmistakable LiDAR unit mounted on the SUV’s roof. This hardware will work hand-in-hand with Waymo’s AI-powered software, which will enable the vehicles to pick up and drop off passengers in selected areas without a human driver.
In a previous report, Ars Technica dubbed Waymo’s self-driving software as the best in the world, with the publication taking particular note of the company’s several layers of redundancies, including redundant controls for its cars’ brakes, steering, and power supply.
Waymo’s safety records on the road come from extensive testing on both the real and virtual world. During his presentation of the autonomous I-PACE, Krafcik stated that Waymo’s self-driving vehicles continue to go through the “world’s longest and toughest ongoing driving test.” According to the CEO, the company’s fleet of cars has traveled more than 5 million autonomous miles on American roads across 25 different cities and 5 billion simulated miles to date.
Waymo’s Jaguar I-PACE fleet is set to start testing this year, with Krafcik noting that the company is preparing to deploy as many as 20,000 units of the electric SUVs within two years of production. According to the CEO, the 20,000-unit fleet is capable of servicing 1 million trips per day.
As we noted in a previous report, Waymo and GM recently topped Navigant’s list of companies who are participating in the self-driving race. According to the study, Waymo’s long tenure in the autonomous driving field, together with resources from Google, help the company achieve a refined, near-flawless autonomy in selected areas of the United States.
Watch Waymo’s livestream event below.