Honda in Talks With Google’s Waymo on Self-Drive Tech
Honda said it is talking to Waymo, the autonomous driving unit of Google parent Alphabet, to try to strike a deal that would put its self-driving technology into some of the Japanese automaker’s cars, according to Bloomberg. Both companies stressed that the talks are about research, rather than full production vehicles, at this point.
If all goes well, Honda may provide Waymo with vehicles that are modified to run the self-driving system, and those cars would join the existing Waymo fleet currently being tested in four U.S. cities. Discussions with Honda underscore that Waymo wants to develop the brains behind self-driving vehicle technology rather than build the cars that use it. The talks also show that Waymo, the new name of Google’s Self-Driving Car Project, is eager to work with more car companies as it races to rack up test miles with its autonomous-drive systems and prepare it for commercialization.
Waymo already has a deal with Fiat Chrysler, which has built 100 Chrysler Pacifica plug-in hybrid minivans equipped with its computers and a suite of sensors, telematics and other systems. Their vehicles will join the company’s fleet of self-driving cars early next year. General Motors and Ford tried to strike deals with Google’s self-driving unit last year, but were unable to do so. Automakers had been wary of working with Google, thinking the internet search giant could dominate their businesses, but that attitude is changing.