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Waymo may work with Honda on an autonomous delivery vehicle

A report offers scant details on the potential deal between the two.
David Lumb, @OutOnALumb
April 2, 2018
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Bloomberg via Getty Images

Last week, Waymo announced a partnership to build autonomous Jaguar vehicles for its upcoming self-driving taxi service, which will augment its existing fleet of Chryslers. But today Bloomberg reported that the Alphabet company is nearing a deal with a third automaker, Honda, that may lead the pair to collaborate on an entirely new vehicle.

The deal will reportedly boost Waymo's capacity in 'delivery and logistics' rather than moving people, which its anticipated ride-sharing service had assumedly been focused on. While Waymo has been in talks with Honda since late 2016, this news came from Bloomberg's profile of John Krafcik, the Alphabet company's chief executive. Whether both companies' collaborative plans include making a wholly new vehicle is still speculative. Per the article:

Krafcik said not to expect the new service to take the form of a "traditional car driven on roads." His comments suggest Waymo is ready to try co-creating a vehicle from scratch with an automaker rather than modifying existing models, as it has done with Jaguar and Fiat Chrysler. The Honda model may move people and goods, Krafcik hinted; it might be smaller than a truck and could come without a steering wheel or brakes. A Honda spokesman said the companies are "continuing to explore" the relationship.

The previously-announced partnerships adapted existing Jaguar and Chrysler vehicles with Waymo's self-driving tech, so creating an entirely new one with Honda is an unprecedented step for the company. But it's been developing its autonomous 'delivery and logistics' services, and was expected to start testing its self-driving trucks in Atlanta last month.

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