Waymo explores driverless services with Renault-Nissan alliance

Bloomberg/Caitlin O'Hara

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The three carmakers and Alphabet’s autonomous-vehicle unit will study market opportunities and research legal and safety issues related to driverless transportation services in France and Japan.

Thursday 20, June 2019

(Bloomberg)—Waymo agreed to explore driverless services with Renault, Nissan Motor Company and Mitsubishi Motor, pairing a leader in self-driving technology with the world’s largest automotive alliance.

The deal doesn’t extend to cooperation producing robo-vehicles.

Hadi Zablit, the Senior Vice President for Business Development at the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance, said, “We’re convinced that with this added expertise, we will be able to position ourselves for autonomous services that are viable for customers.”

The French-Japanese alliance produced more than 10 million vehicles last year—on a par with the biggest carmakers such as Volkswagen and Toyota Motor.

Unlike Waymo’s previously announced deals with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Tata Motors Jaguar Land Rover, the partnership with Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi does not include supplying any cars.

Waymo’s parent company, Alphabet struck a separate deal with three-way partnership last year September, giving its Google Android operating system access to their vehicle's dashboard starting in 2021.

The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance stated that the new agreement marks a first step toward developing long-term, profitable driverless-vehicle services for passengers and deliveries.

While the analysis will take place first in France and Japan, the partnership said stated that it plans to expand to other markets.

Zablit sees the deployment of the new mobility services in less than 10 years.

For Renault and Nissan, working with Waymo brings expertise as the race to develop autonomous vehicles heats up. It also shows the French and Japanese manufacturers continue to collaborate on key strategic matters, even after their two-decade partnership was shaken by the arrest in November of former leader Carlos Ghosn in Japan over alleged financial improprieties.

TAGS : Waymo, Nissan Motor Company, Mitsubishi , Renault, driverless services

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