In the self-driving cars realm, it appears that Waymo is in the lead. The self-driving car unit of Alphabet, recently announced that it would be adding as many as 20,000 Jaguars to its growing fleet of self-driving cars. Testing on the Jaguar I-PACE all-electric sport-utility vehicle would begin this year before becoming part of Waymo's fleet in 2020. Jaguar, a division of Tata Motors, noted that Waymo was "the only company with a fleet of fully self-driving cars -- with no one in the front seat -- on public roads." Waymo said that the vehicles could combine to complete over a million trips on an average day.
Waymo also gave insight into its long-term aspirations, saying (emphasis mine), "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."
This is the latest step taken by Waymo that could upend the paradigm of driving as we know it.
Taking over the roads?
This is a huge move by Waymo and speaks to the extent of the company's ambitions in the space. A fleet of this size could potentially replace the majority of cars in a small- to a medium-sized community, according to a 2013 research study by Columbia University's Earth Institute. The team, led by Professor Lawrence D. Burns, found that 71% of the 740,000 trips in a given day were less than 70 miles and that the average vehicle was used only 67 minutes per day in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The research concluded that 18,000 self-driving cars could replace an estimated 120,000 of the 200,000 vehicles owned by residents.
This isn't the first sizable addition to Waymo's fleet -- though it is by far the largest. Just last month, in a joint statement with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V., the company announced that it would be adding "thousands" of Chrysler Pacifica minivans to its stable, though it didn't say precisely how many.
Read more here.
Join us in Miami from the 20th to the 22nd of June for the Global Online Marketplaces Summit. Our summit theme is INNOVATION and we’ll hear from Global Leaders who are creating the Online Marketplaces of Tomorrow.