Waymo, the Alphabet-owned (formerly Google)
autonomous vehicle project. First, the company announced it was
spinning out of Alphabet X, the research and development arm that focuses on moonshot projects. It followed that up with an official name change and an announcement that the group
stopped development of its own vehicle, instead focusing on partnering with automakers. In that vein, it revealed that its first 100 vehicles will be
modified Chrysler Pacifica Hybrids. Waymo is continuing on this roll with the news of a possible partnership with
Let’s be clear, this is not an announcement of a partnership, simply that the two are in talks to put Waymo tech in Honda vehicles. In a sense, this is an announcement of an announcement. If everything goes through, expect Honda engineers from the US and
Japan to work with Waymo teams in Mountain View, California and Novi, Michigan. The stated goal is to integrate fully self-driving sensors, software, and computers into Honda vehicles.
It’s obvious the deal isn’t exclusive, given the announcement of an
FCA partnership mere days ago. Likewise, Honda says in its release that it will continue independent autonomous tech development and use the Waymo partnership to explore various options. The Waymo-equipped Honda vehicles would enter into Waymo’s already active fleets in several US cities. If all goes through, expect a final announcement of a partnership sometime soon.