We learned last week that Waymo formed a partnership with Jaguar to build autonomous vehicles for its upcoming self-driving taxi service, which will take advantage of its existing fleet of Chryslers. Today, we have some more interesting news to share.
According to a report from Bloomberg, Alphabet-owned company is nearing a deal with Honda that could lead to both working on an entirely new vehicle. In terms of the deal, it will boost Waymo’s capacity in ‘delivery and logistics’ rather than moving people. Since late 2016, Waymo has been in talks with Honda, and this news comes from Bloomberg‘s profile of John Krafcik, the Alphabet company’s chief executive.
At this time, it’s still until speculation that the collaboration between the two companies will include a new vehicle. According to the article:
Krafcik said not to expect the new service to take the form of a “traditional car driven on roads.” His comments suggest Waymo is ready to try co-creating a vehicle from scratch with an automaker rather than modifying existing models, as it has done with Jaguar and Fiat Chrysler. The Honda model may move people and goods, Krafcik hinted; it might be smaller than a truck and could come without a steering wheel or brakes. A Honda spokesman said the companies are “continuing to explore” the relationship.
The previous partnership with Jaguar took advantage of already-existing Chrysler vehicles and equipping them with Waymo’s self-driving technology. With this new partnership with Honda, it’s possible that Waymo is heading into a different territory where it could create an entirely new vehicle.