Waymo, the Google (GOOG) self-driving project that recently spun out to become a business under Alphabet, is in formal talks to integrate Honda vehicles with autonomous technology, the companies said Wednesday.
The companies described this as a technical collaboration that would allow both companies to learn about how to best integrate Waymo’s self-driving sensors, software, and computing platform into Honda vehicles. Honda could provide Waymo with vehicles that have been modified to accommodate its self-driving technology. These vehicles would join Waymo’s existing fleet, which has test vehicles in Mountain View, Calif., Chandler, Ariz., Austin, and Kirkland, Wash.
Honda R&D engineers based in Silicon Valley and Tochigi, Japan would work with Waymo engineers in Mountain View and Novi, Mich., if the two companies enter into a formal agreement.
Waymo, which is headed by longtime automotive executive John Krafcik, became an official business just over a week ago. Krafcik has said he sees Waymo’s self-driving car technology being used in an array of applications from personal vehicles and ride-sharing to logistics and solving so-called last-mile problems for public transport.