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Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) and Google’s Waymo autonomous driving division have announced a long-term strategic partnership this week at the New York motor show.

The two companies will work together to design and engineer a driverless version of the Jaguar I-Pace, with 20,000 units forecast to join Waymo’s self-driving fleet in its first two years of production.

Waymo will commence testing of the autonomous I-Pace prototypes later this year, with market production expected to commence around 2020.

JLR and Waymo said in their press release the shared goal is to “make cars safer, free up people’s valuable time and improve mobility for everyone”.

Later this year, Waymo plans to launch the world’s first self-driving transportation service in Phoenix, Arizona, allowing members of the public to hail a driverless vehicle via the company’s smartphone app.

“In joining forces with Waymo we are pioneering to push the boundaries of technology. Together we will deliver the self-driving Waymo Jaguar I-Pace with the grace, space and eco-pace that customers expect,” said Ralf Steph, JLR’s CEO.

Revealed in production form earlier this year, the Jaguar I-Pace features a dual-motor electric drive system, with outputs of 294kW and 696Nm, hooked up to a 90kWh lithium-ion battery pack.

Jaguar claims the I-Pace can sprint from 0-100km/h in 4.8 seconds, while offering a zero-emissions driving range of up to 480 kilometres per charge.

The electric SUV will arrive in Australia later this year, priced from $119,000 before on-road costs.

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