Waymo's self-driving cars just got classy

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These two heavy weights working together means the autonomous future of self-driving cars is not only coming sooner than ever but could look fantastic too.

Waymo said it will fit its technology to the electric I-Pace vehicles and start testing them later this year, although it doesn't expect to use them to carry civilians until 2020.

Waymo is teaming up with Jaguar in its escalating battle versus Uber. Those 20,000 vehicles, Krafcik said, could provide about a million trips a day. And, as part of a shared fleet, we can make this premium experience accessible to everyone.

It also now employs Chrysler minivans in its self-driving tests in Phoenix.

The i-Pace is itself an innovation for the Indian-owned, UK-based carmaker, being its first fully electric SUV. The SUV is the first battery-powered vehicle for the brand, underscoring the convergence of electrification and automation. The announcement of a substantial vehicle fleet for the Phoenix roll-out demonstrates that Waymo has taken a significant step forward in the race to pioneer the world of self-driving cars.

"Our model at Waymo isn't to be a auto company", Krafcik said during a question-and-answer session.

In the meantime, Uber has suspended its self-driving trials - and on Monday, Arizona revoked its licence to do so anyway.

Waymo plans that by the end of the year to become the world's first company to offer self-driving transportation services to the public.

The commitment, announced Tuesday during a NY event that was also webcast, marks another step in Waymo's evolution from a secret project started in Google nine years ago to a spin-off that's gearing up for an audacious attempt to reshape the transportation business.

The autonomous vehicle pioneer said Tuesday it will add up to 20,000 Jaguar SUVs to its lineup in a partnership with Jaguar Land Rover.

"We all have to build some trust into the technology and obviously this would be a little bit of a setback", Fay said. 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".

Waymo's planned ride-hailing service poses a potential threat to Uber and Lyft, the early leaders in that still-developing field.