In the wake of the tragic accident which took the life of a cyclist in Arizona on March 19th, 2018, Uber put a halt to its much-touted tests of autonomous vehicles in its fleet of vehicles. This accident sent shockwaves through the autonomous vehicle community and those companies currently testing such vehicles in their own operations, which include other leading on-demand ride-hailing service Lyft or automaker GM, and posed questions as to what the future would hold for the development of these technologies as the risks and dangers of such operation demand reconsideration of the phase of active testing signaled by recent moves such as California’s opening up of self-driving testing permits.

Now, however, Waymo, among the top-developers of the technology driving autonomous vehicles, has shown a bold sign of its ambitions with the announcement of a plan to put up to 20,000 self-driving vehicles on the road within the first two years of a new deal with automaker Jaguar Land Rover. This program would then see these vehicles go into active use and, according to Waymo’s estimate, serve up to one million trips a day with its new fleet. This marks a considerable step up from the company’s current fleet of 600 Chrysler vehicles which it is currently operating largely in Arizona. This new deal also marks an expansion on Jaguar Land Rover’s efforts in the field which had, until now, been focused on private tests the company conducted and an investment in Lyft to test its new technology on the ride-hailing service’s platform.

Waymo has stressed that its technology differs from that used by Uber, suggesting that its technology is safer, and its confident stance on the development suggests that the development of these technologies will not slow, despite the dawning of a more cautious, considered approach.

Uber halts self-driving tests 

Read about Waymo and Jaguar Land Rover’s ambitious targets 

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