It was just early this month that Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc. announced that the Google Car Project will be rebranded as Waymo, and become an independent company that will work on self-driving technology for automobiles. Reportedly, Google has decided to not directly go venture into production autonomous cars but partner with existing car manufacturers to develop the technology. And right now, Waymo is in talks with Japanese auto giant Honda Motor Co. to integrate its self-driving technology with their vehicles.
While both the companies are currently just entering into formal discussions over the partnership, according to Honda, this technical collaboration with Waymo’s self-driving technology team would allow both companies to weigh the different possibilities. And also the integration of Waymo’s fully self-driving sensors, software and computing platform into Honda vehicles. In fact, as part of the discussion on technical collaboration, Honda plans to initially provide Waymo with vehicles that have been modified to be paired with Waymo’s self-driving technology.
The company has also revealed that the new Honda vehicles with Waymo’s autonomous tech will join the tech company’s existing fleet, which is currently being tested across four U.S. cities. And in case Honda signs the deal with Waymo, then the Honda R&D engineers based in Silicon Valley, California and Tochigi, Japan, would work closely with Waymo engineers based in Mountain View, California and Novi, Michigan.
Honda says that this technical collaboration with Waymo could allow Honda R&D to explore a different technological approach to bring fully self-driving technology to market. It has already said that the company plans to introduce production vehicles with automated driving capabilities on the roads by 2020. And if everything works out well between Honda and Waymo then we might be able to see that happen by the end of this decade.