Honda has announced that its research and development arm has entered formal discussions with Google’s autonomous driving division Waymo, in a bid to integrate the latter’s self-driving technology into its vehicles. Such a technical collaboration will see Honda’s researchers and Waymo’s team learning how to integrate fully self-driving sensors, software and computers into Honda vehicles.
Part of the tie-up could see Honda initially providing Waymo with vehicles modified to accommodate Waymo’s self-driving tech, which will join Waymo’s fleet – currently being tested across four cities in the United States. Honda’s engineers in Silicon Valley and back in Tochigi, Japan would work closely with Waymo’s engineers in Google’s Mountain View headquarters and in Novi, Michigan.
Honda previously announced its plan to put vehicles with automated driving functionality on highways into production around 2020, as part of its goal of a collision-free society. Concurrently, the Waymo collaboration would enable Honda R&D to explore a different approach in bringing full autonomous driving to the market. As such, the two companies will begin to explore the potential of a broad range of automated driving tech.
The house that Soichiro built isn’t the only company exploring a joint venture with Waymo – earlier in the week, the latter announced that it would be adding 100 units of modified Chrysler Pacifica MPVs into its fleet, in collaboration with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA). Waymo said that the addition of people movers was needed to increase the variety of vehicles to test and refine its advanced driving software.