Automaker plans to produce self-driving cars by 2020
It’s been a few weeks since Google’s self-driving car project spun off into Waymo (an independent enterprise under Alphabet) and now it’s getting close to securing another partnership with another automaker–this time it’s Honda.
Honda recently announced that it is negotiating a technical deal with Waymo. Honda would benefit from Waymo’s expertise in autonomous driving technology. Conversely, Waymo would gain access to Honda vehicles to test its equipment and software. Both companies have teams in Silicon Valley and will reportedly work with Honda engineers in Japan and Waymo staffers based in Novi, Mich.
“This technical collaboration with Waymo could allow Honda R&D to explore a different technological approach to bring fully self-driving technology to market,” the automaker said in a statement.
Honda has been relatively quiet about its autonomous driving development. Early last year the company secured testing space at a Navy base in Northern California where it’s been evaluating self-driving technology in modified versions of an Acura RLX. The test vehicle is capable of fully autonomous driving including lane changing and vehicle-2-vehicle communication.
Should the deal go through, it would be Waymo’s second collaboration with a major automaker. Earlier this year Waymo and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles inked a deal to test 100 autonomous Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans on public roads.