Waymo has largely been testing and operating self-driving cars in the United States. The Alphabet division today announced a partnership with Renault and Nissan to bring autonomous vehicles to France, Japan, and other parts of the world.
This rumored “exclusive partnership” will “explore driverless mobility services for passengers and deliveries in France and Japan.” Waymo has been operating a public ride service in Phoenix for the past several months and testing self-driving trucks that deliver commercial freight since 2017.
According to CEO John Krafcik, this deal helps Waymo bring its “autonomous technology to a global stage.” The first part of this partnership involves researching the “commercial, legal, and regulatory issues related to transportation-as-a-service in France and Japan.”
To further the exploration process, Groupe Renault and Nissan will create joint venture Alliance-focused companies in France and Japan dedicated to driverless mobility services.
This is Waymo’s first deal with an automaker and differs from its current approach of buying cars from Chrysler and Jaguar to retrofit with self-driving components at its own facility. The Alliance of Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi is the world’s largest automaker and touts a “portfolio covering every segment of passenger and light commercial vehicles.”
Waymo’s self-driving partnership will first focus on France and Japan before exploring other countries “in the future.”
John Krafcik, Chief Executive Officer, Waymo
“This is an ideal opportunity for Waymo to bring our autonomous technology to a global stage, with an innovative partner. With the Alliance’s international reach and scale, our Waymo Driver can deliver transformational mobility solutions to safely serve riders and commercial deliveries in France, Japan, and other countries.”
Thierry Bolloré, Chief Executive Officer, Groupe Renault
“The story of tomorrow’s mobility will be jointly written, with the cooperation of the Alliance with Waymo, as industry leaders, opening new perspectives for driverless mobility services. We believe this partnership will accelerate our commitment to deliver new shared mobility services and benefit the automobile ecosystems by placing us at the forefront of driverless mobility new business streams in our key strategic markets.”
Hiroto Saikawa, President and CEO Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
“As we continue our work through the mid-term plan – Nissan M.O.V.E 2022 – to evolve our business to meet changing consumer behavior, Nissan aims to be an early provider of driverless mobility service. 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.“