Google-owned Waymo announced that it's partnering with Jaguar Land Rover to incorporate the automaker's new self-driving Jaguar I-PACE vehicle into its autonomous driving fleet.
Waymo will start testing the I-PACE in its fleet later this year, and it plans to add up to 20,000 I-PACEs to its self-driving car fleet from 2020.
"With this partnership, we can offer our self-driving service to many communities across the country with vehicles that are safe, quiet and eco-friendly," wrote Waymo in a blog post. "The ultimate goal: with Waymo as the driver, products tailored for every purpose and every trip. Reaching that goal starts with partnerships with innovative automakers and OEMs, like Jaguar Land Rover."
The tie-up is just the latest in a series of partnerships and integration pacts between Waymo and other automakers.
Earlier this year, Waymo ordered thousands of new Chrysler Pacifica minivans in the hope of launching a driverless ride-hailing service sometime this year. The vehicles are the first to attain a Level 4 in autonomy, which the Society of Automotive Engineers stipulates as a "high level" but not fully autonomous.
Testing the self-driving minivans lets Waymo gather data on where people want to ride, how users communicate with the tech-heavy vehicles, and what controls and data riders want to be able to see while inside.
In its previous tests, Waymo used Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans outfitted with sensors. In April 2017, Waymo announced the addition of 500 Pacifica minivans, on top of 100 Pacifica minivans it already had.
More broadly, Waymo's automotive partnerships help to support the Google subsidiary's autonomous driving ambitions as rivals Tesla and Uber race to put self-driving cars on the road. Waymo is also playing the long game, as it looks to launch a large-scale transportation service using self-driving vehicles.
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