Besides offering a Lyft and Uber competitor, Waymo is also exploring self-driving trucks as it makes its technology available to carmakers in order to monetize its decade-long work on autonomy. A report today revealed a possible partnership with the Renault–Nissan–Mitsubishi Alliance.
Bloomberg today reported on “advanced talks” to develop self-driving vehicles with the Renault–Nissan–Mitsubishi Alliance. That strategic partnership between French and Japanese carmakers is responsible for 10 major brands around the world. The alliance is already working with Google on Android Automotive to power upcoming cars with Assistant and Maps.
The deal could involve making driverless taxis and benefit all the companies involved. For Waymo, this would be the next major partnership after Fiat Chrysler on its staple minivan, and Jaguar Land Rover with the all-electric I-Pace. It helps the Alphabet division become the dominant player in the field by making its technology available on more and more vehicles before other autonomous competitors begin offering services on a similar scale.
According to a report last May, Waymo and Fiat Chrysler are already discussing selling cars that feature self-driving capabilities directly to consumers. Alphabet would be licensing this technology to others, rather than having a direct relationship with customers.
Waymo One is still only available in Phoenix, Arizona, but the company has discussed expanding to other areas and is ramping up its fleet with a plant in Detroit, Michigan. In the past, the company discussed integrating cars into public transportation as part of “last mile” solutions. Working with retailers and hotels to chauffeur clients around is another means of monetizing the technology.
According to Bloomberg and Nikkei, an agreement between Waymo and the Renault–Nissan–Mitsubishi Alliance could be coming by this spring.