Google announced in December it would be expanding its self driving project into its own independent company called Waymo. Its mission? “To make it safe for people and things to get around.” A week later and Honda Motor Co Ltd has revealed it is now in talks with the company to supply vehicles to test Waymo‘s self-driving technology, Reuters reported.
Alphabet Inc, the parent company of Google, partnered up with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV in May after the automobile company agreed to fit 100 Pacifica Hybrid minivans with the Waymo technology. The vehicles have now been delivered. Honda could now become the tech firm’s second automotive industry partner.
According to Reuters, these moves “illustrate how carmakers, faced with the high cost of developing autonomous driving tech in-house, are separating into those going it alone, such as General Motors Co and Ford Motor Co, and those teaming up to spread the costs.”
Honda itself has been developing automated driving functions and cars with intelligent features but has in the past emphasised that cars always need drivers. Now, the company has said it is interested in the approach of Google’s self-driving car project to develop fully autonomous, driverless cars, Reuters said.
“There’s only so much technology a company can develop while focusing on one specific approach,” Honda spokesman Teruhiko Tatebe told Reuters. “By approaching it from multiple angles it’s possible to come up with new innovations quicker.”
“You’ve got Google, which is engaging with another automaker to apply its technology into different vehicles and different platforms,” said senior analyst Jeremy Carlson at researcher IHS Automotive. “From Honda’s perspective, you get a close-up look at some of the most capable technology in the industry today.”
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