Jaguar and Google’s Waymo agree £1.2bn driverless car partnership

JLR will provide the driverless car firm with 20,000 all-electric I-Pace SUVs

Waymo Jaguar
Trials of the self-driving Jaguar I-Pace are due to begin at the end of the year
(Image credit: Jaguar )

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has announced it will supply up to 20,000 vehicles to driverless car outfit Waymo, the sub-brand of Google’s parent firm Alphabet, in a deal believed to be worth around £1.2bn.

Under the partnership, JLR will provide Waymo with its first electric car, the forthcoming I-Pace SUV, in a move The Guardian calls “a huge boost for Britain’s biggest car manufacturer”.

Waymo is still expected to continue its partnership with Chrysler, the newspaper says. The duo’s line-up includes 600 Chrysler Pacifica mini vans, with “thousands more” on order, which will form a ride-hailing service in Arizona “later this year”.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

Meawhile, Autocar says JLR and Waymo will open a ride-hailing service using autonomous I-Paces to the public “from 2020”, allowing them to gather “data from up to one million trips per day”.

Before the service opens, the partnership plans to begin trialling the autonomous technology on the streets of Arizona by the end of the year.

However, driverless technology was “dealt a blow”, says The Daily Telegraph, by the first fatality involving an autonomous car, which happened in Tempe, Arizona on 18 March. This suggests JLR and Waymo may have a few hurdles to overcome before public testing begins.

The accident, in which pedestrian Elaine Herzberg was killed after being hit by a driverless Uber, sparked questions over whether the technology is safe enough for public use, the newspaper says.

Arizona’s governor, and autonomous vehicle advocate, Doug Ducey suspended Uber’s driverless trials in the state on Monday, although there’s no word on whether the temporary ban applies to other carmakers.

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.