Renault, Nissan, and Waymo have entered into an agreement to explore driverless mobility services for passengers and deliveries in France and Japan. The agreement marks a first step to developing long-term driverless mobility services operations.
In Japan, a potential competitor to a Renault-Nissan-Waymo venture would be Monet Technologies, a self-driving project involving Toyota Motor Corp and Honda Motor Co and backed by SoftBank Group Corp. SoftBank and Honda also have invested in General Motors Co’s Cruise self-driving car unit.
The initial agreement among Waymo, Renault and Nissan aims to “develop a framework for the deployment of mobility services at scale,” according to Hadi Zablit, Renault-Nissan Alliance business development chief. Physical testing of vehicles and deployment of services would come in later phases. The two automakers will set up 50-50 joint ventures in France and Japan to develop driverless transportation services. Zablit said a later Waymo investment is “one of the options” under consideration.
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.