Honda’s research and development subsidiary has entered talks with Waymo — formerly known as the Google self-driving car project — about a potential collaboration, according to Honda.
Waymo, a unit of Google parent company Alphabet, is focused on further advancing autonomous vehicle software and sensor technology. Google’s autonomous vehicle technology development dates back to 2009.
Honda R&D Co. and Waymo are negotiating a potential collaboration in which Honda would provide Waymo with vehicles modified to accommodate Waymo’s self-driving technology. These vehicles would join Waymo’s existing fleet, which is currently being tested across four U.S. cites — Austin, Texas; Kirkland, Wash.; Mountain View, Calif., and Phoenix.
If both parties agree to enter into a formal agreement, Honda R&D engineers based in Silicon Valley, Calif. and Tochigi, Japan would work closely with Waymo engineers based in Mountain View, Calif. and Novi, Mich., Honda said.
Honda previously announced plans to put production vehicles with automated driving capabilities on highways sometime around 2020.
"In addition to these ongoing efforts, this technical collaboration with Waymo could allow Honda R&D to explore a different technological approach to bring fully self-driving technology to market," Honda said in a released statement. "These discussions are an initial step that will allow Waymo and Honda R&D to further explore the potential of a broad range of automated driving technologies."