As if we haven’t heard enough already about Waymo this month, Honda Motor Co. announced today that it has entered into discussions with the less-boring sounding rename of Google’s self-driving project, a move that could bring the company’s self-driving technology to the automaker’s vehicles.
Also, insert the “VTEC just kicked itself in, yo” joke of your choice here. Got that out of your system? Okay, great.
Honda said the “technical collaboration” could entail providing Waymo with vehicles to accommodate the self-driving technology of Alphabet’s autonomous-driving subsidiary. Those vehicles, Honda said, would join Waymo’s existing fleet, which is currently spread out and being tested in four U.S. cities. Honda’s engineers in California and Japan would be in close collaboration with Waymo’s people in the U.S.
“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,” the company said in a statement.
If both sides nail down an agreement, it would potentially mark Waymo’s entrance into the Japanese car market and its second automotive partner. Earlier this year, the company said it was working with Fiat Chrysler to co-develop self-driving technology, and this month the pair unveiled the new Pacifica Hybrid minivan with Waymo’s gadgetry.
A spokesperson for Honda didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment about what models may be included in the potential collaboration, but the company did recently tease out its 2018 Odyssey minivan in the run-up to the Detroit auto show that, objectively, looks like a kid designed it.
The announcement Wednesday suggests Waymo’s definitely hell bent on working with more traditional automakers to bring its technology to the market in a shorter time-frame. At this rate, the repeated mantra of 2017 may be Waymo. Waymo, Waymo, Waymo ...