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Waymo to buy 20,000 Jaguar electric cars

Self-driving car company Waymo is to buy up to 20,000 Jaguar electric vehicles as part of its plans to launch a robotic ride-hailing service.

The announcement by the business, which is owned by Google parent company Alphabet, expands on a fleet of self-driving cars it has been building with Fiat Chrysler since 2015.

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) will deliver the I-PACE models from 2020 to 2022, with the aim of providing up to one million rides per day.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed but at a starting price of about $70,000 for the I-PACE, a fleet of 20,000 vehicles would be worth $1.4bn (£990m).

Waymo has been working on self-driving cars since 2009 and currently tests its self-driving system on Chrysler Pacific minivans.

It plans to launch a ride service in Phoenix, Arizona, in the coming months before rolling it out more widely later.

The tie-up with Jaguar will give it a way to appeal to a more upmarket passengers as well as those who want to avoid petrol or diesel guzzling vehicles.

JLR chief executive Dr Ralf Speth said: "In joining forces with Waymo we are pioneering to push the boundaries of technology."

UK-based JLR, owned by India's Tata Motors is building the new I-PACE, which launched earlier this month, in Austria.

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It is due to decide later this year whether to build electric vehicles in Britain, as it awaits further clarity on Brexit and whether it will face tariffs or customs checks as a result of Britain's departure from the EU.

The company sold more than 600,000 vehicles in 2017.

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