Honda And Waymo Open Discussions On Autonomous Vehicle Partnership

The first trial vehicles for Google’s Waymo self-driving vehicle trial may have come from the workshops of Fiat Chrysler, but now Honda has announced that it has entered discussions with the tech giant with a view to a technical collaboration.

While only in its initial stages, the agreement between Waymo and Honda could see the Japanese automaker supply Waymo with modified vehicles capable of being fitted with Waymo’s self-driving technology.

Honda, like numerous other automakers has stated its intention to add automated driving capabilities to its production vehicles by 2020, however even the company’s flagship Acura RLX and Honda Legend twins are yet to take the first steps towards semi-autonomy in the way companies like Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz already have.

Waymo’s current Chrysler-sourced evaluation vehicle

Waymo’s current Chrysler-sourced evaluation vehicle

That’s not to say the company is without a foothold in the autonomous arena, with the NeuV concept (top of page) to be displayed at January’s Consumer Electronics Show giving a glimpse of Honda’s vision for a future personal mobility pod, combining artificial intelligence, and high levels of connectivity as a future transport solution.

If the agreement between the two firms goes ahead Waymo’s extensive work in the field of full autonomy could give Honda R&D (a subsidiary of Honda Motor Co.) a massive advantage in the autonomous field despite having already begun product development on its own.

While final details of any collaboration between the two are yet to be confirmed, Honda has stated that any vehicles it provided would join Waymo’s existing fleet of 100 specially prepared Chrysler Pacifcia Hybrid minivans, rather than replacing them.

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