Alphabet's self-driving car company Waymo has entered into a
partnership with Renault and Nissan to research how self-driving
vehicles may be used commercially for passengers and deliveries in
France and Japan.
The agreement between the three companies will
last for an "initial period", with the companies not providing further
details on the duration of the partnership.
partnership, the companies plan to assess market opportunities and
research commercial, legal, and regulatory issues related to the
viability of providing driverless transportation-as-a-service offerings
in the two countries.
"This is an ideal opportunity for Waymo to
bring our autonomous technology to a global stage, with an innovative
partner." Waymo CEO John Krafcik said in a statement. "With the
alliance's international reach and scale, our Waymo Driver can deliver
transformational mobility solutions to safely serve riders and
commercial deliveries in France, Japan, and other countries."
See also: Interacting with cars: What's on the horizon? The
research will initially be conducted in France and Japan, home to
Renault and Nissan headquarters, respectively, with the partnership
having plans to potentially expand to other markets, excluding China, in
The partnership follows the recent trend of car manufacturers
partnering up with driverless car companies. Last month, GM's driverless
car company Cruise raised $1.15 billion from a group comprised of
SoftBank, Honda, General Motors, and T. Rowe Price Associates.
that, Honda paid $2.75 billion for a 5.7% stake in Cruise. In
February, Volkswagen was reportedly in talks with Ford to invest
approximately $1.7 billion into the latter's subsidiary Argo AI to build
a fleet of self-driving cars. Waymo launched its first commercial self-driving car service in December, with the services currently available in Phoenix. RELATED COVERAGE Elon Musk on Tesla's Autopilot: In a year, 'a human intervening will decrease safety' Elon Musk reckons Tesla has already won the race for fully autonomous vehicle technology.
SoftBank Vision Fund invests $2.25b in GM Cruise GM said the investment, which values Cruise at $11.5 billion, will drive large-scale autonomous vehicle deployment. GM to begin testing self-driving cars in New York in early 2018 General Motors' subsidiary Cruise Automation plans to test fully autonomous vehicles in lower Manhattan. Waymo to launch self-driving car service within two months Some
of Waymo's biggest customers are expected to be other businesses,
including Walmart and Avis, that want to provide rides for their own
Autonomous cars are not ready for public deployment (TechRepublic) Despite
the hype surrounding self-driving cars, human intervention is
consistently required for its functionality, according to Consumer