Honda is in talks with Waymo, Google’s newly formed self-driving car project, to supply the tech company with vehicles.
If it moves forward, it will be a technical collaboration between Honda engineers and Waymo’s self-driving technology team, allowing both teams to learn from each other and work together. Honda will have to provide Waymo with vehicles that are specially modified to accommodate the self-driving technology, while Waymo would lend Honda its insight into self-driving technology, a field every automaker is interested in these days.
The step would help Honda towards its previously stated goal of having cars with automated driving capabilities on public roads sometime around 2020. Joining forces with Waymo may also give Honda a different approach at bring self-driving technology to market by doing so with a partner rather than alone. The type of vehicle to be provided by Honda wasn’t mentioned.
Waymo just received a fleet of 100 specially fitted Chrysler Pacifica minivans for testing, so it seems that Google knows
it needs to make partnerships with existing major automakers
If both parties agree to the partnership, Honda engineers in Silicon Valley and Tochigi, Japan will work closely with Waymo engineers based in Silicon Valley and in Novi, Michigan.