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Waymo, Renault And Nissan Sing Agreement For Self-Driving Vehicles

Waymo, Renault And Nissan Sing Agreement For Self-Driving Vehicles
The self driving arm of Google’s parent company Alphabet – Waymo, has got into a partnership with French car maker Renault and Japanese auto giant Nissan with the aim of developing self-driving cars and trucks  for the markets in France and Japan and potentially for all other markets throughout Europe and much of Asia. This was announced recently by the autonomous car company.
This is the first time that Waymo has decided to collaborate with automakers working to build their own self-driving vehicles by providing its technology and services to auto companies. The companies however said that the Chinese market is not included in the agreement.
Currently Waymo is conducting tests drives for a small number of self driving vehicles just outside of Phoenix in the United States. Those autonomous vehicles are modified versions of Chrysler Pacifica minivans and are a part of the efforts of Waymo for the development of self driving ride sharing services. The role of Waymo in the partnership with Renault and Nissan would be more of that of a provider of technology and services which would be put to use by each of the auto companies for the development of their own autonomous vehicles.
“Our Waymo Driver can deliver transformational mobility solutions to safely serve riders and commercial deliveries in France, Japan and other countries,” Waymo CEO John Krafcik said in a statement.
With respect to the development of self driving vehicles, both Renault and Nissan are apparently keeping aside their differences and strained relationships which cropped up since December last year after the arrest of the former Chairman of Nissan and former Renault CEO - Carlos Ghosn. Nissan and Renault are the major partners of a three company alliance which is the largest in the auto world in terms of output and capacity.
In order to focus exclusively on driverless mobility services, the companies would be creating a joint venture company, the companies said.
The most recent deal with Waymo will put his company “at the forefront of driverless mobility new business streams in our key strategic markets”, said Renault CEO Thierry Bollore in a statement about the agreement.
The same sentiment was echoed by Hiroto Saikawa, president and CEO of Nissan.
“Our expertise in the global automotive industry and expertise in strategic partnership will enable us to explore opportunities to grow our portfolio and deliver new value to customers with Waymo, the recognized leader in this space,” he said.
According to auto and tech industry analysts and technology executives, the work done so far by Waymo – which was earlier known as Google Self Driving Car project, in the area of self driving vehicles has made it a global leader in this area of expertise.
However, this leadership position of Waymo is not unchallenged. According to reports, Cruise – the subsidiary of General Motors, would be launching its first autonomous vehicle within the current year. Work on development of autonomous ride-share vehicles is also being strongly conducted by Uber.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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