Honda and Waymo in Talks About Autonomous Vehicle Collaboration
Michael Alba posted on December 23, 2016 |
A prototype Waymo vehicle driving itself on a public street. (Image courtesy of Waymo.)
A prototype Waymo vehicle driving itself on a public street. (Image courtesy of Waymo.)

Honda’s research and development subsidiary has begun formal discussions with Waymo, formerly the Google self-driving car project and now independent company, about the possible integration of their technology into Honda vehicles.

This technical collaboration between the companies could see Honda provide Waymo with vehicles, modified to accommodate Waymo’s self-driving tech, for real world testing.

Waymo’s fleet of autonomous vehicles have driven over 2 million miles on public streets in four cities across the US: Mountain View, California; Austin, Texas; Metro Phoenix, Arizona; and Kirkland, Washington.

If a formal agreement is reached, Honda engineers based in Silicon Valley and Tochigi, Japan, would work with Waymo engineers based in Mountain View and Novi, Michigan.

The collaboration would fit nicely into Honda’s vision of a collision-free world. By 2020, Honda R&D Americas president Frank Paluch suggests that accidents involving Honda vehicles will have reduced by 50 percent due to increased connectivity with each other and infrastructure.

The key to meeting this goal is the adoption of automated driving capabilities, which explains Honda’s interest in partnering with Waymo. A collaboration would allow both companies to explore new options for autonomous driving technology.

Honda had previously announced its intention to put production vehicles with automated driving capabilities on highways by around 2020.

For a perspective on some of the potential dangers of self-driving vehicles, read Risks Abound for IoT Cars and Autonomous Vehicles.

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