The Google car project has officially become a business in its own right – with parent company Alphabet establishing Waymo as a brand – and now the automotive world is already taking notice.
The autonomous business venture just revealed its new fleet coming out of the formal partnership with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles – using the Pacifica minivan. Now the self-driving company has also partnered with Japanese automaker Honda, and its engineers will be closely working with Honda vehicles to integrate autonomous driving software and hardware. Honda recently revealed the two companies were, “entering into a formal discussion,” though no official partnership agreement has been announced yet, instead aiming to “learn about the integration of fully self-driving sensors, software and computers”.
Most likely this means Honda will be providing test cars to Waymo as part of the company’s fleet of autonomous test cars – which is already going to include 100 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid MPVs. It’s unknown which vehicles will join the Waymo fleet, but prospective models might be the new CR-V or the new generation 2018 Odyssey – set for unveiling at NAIAS in Detroit this coming January. As part of the deal, onda R&D engineers in Silicon Valley, California, and Tochigi, Japan, are set to work together with Waymo at their Mountain View, California, and Novi, Michigan, research facilities.