Honda recently announced that it is entering into formal discussions with Waymo. Waymo is an independent autonomous car developer under Alphabet Inc. Previously known as the Google self-driving car project, Waymo will work on to integrate its self-driving technology into Honda vehicles.
This technical collaboration will allow both the companies to learn about the fully self-driving sensors, software and computers. If both the companies enter into an agreement, Honda would provide Waymo with its vehicles to accommodate and test its autonomous technology. These vehicles provided by Honda will join the Waymo’s convoy which currently consists of 100 vehicles. Testing of these fleet will be carried across four cities across America.
If both these companies settle into a formal agreement, Honda’s engineers who are currently based in Silicon Valley and in Tochigi, Japan, would work with Waymo engineers at its Mountain View facility in California as well as at Novi facility in Michigan; where Waymo currently has a research facilities for development and implementation of its technology for on-road use.
Honda has already disclosed its intentions to have autonomous vehicles on the roads by 2020. So these collaboration talks with Waymo will open up a different approach to bringing in its self-driving vehicles to the market. Tough in its initial stages, this talk would help both the company to further explore the potential of autonomous driving technologies.
This contract, if conceptualised, will only be a different approach for the car maker as it will keep working on developing self-driving vehicles. On the other hand, Waymo looks to rather establish itself as a provider of these autonomous technologies instead of building its own self-driving vehicle. Partnering with Honda will be Waymo’s second collaboration since earlier this year. Waymo and FCA signed a deal to test 100 autonomous Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans which were revealed just a few days back.