Waymo, a self-driving vehicle unit of Alphabet Inc. has started a new partnership with the Renault-Nissan Alliance, and this partnership is mainly aimed at creating driverless mobility services for France and Japan. Without making any specific comments about choosing the kind of vehicles, Renault or Nissan, a joint statement said that the effort will help to figure out “long-term, profitable driverless mobility services operations.”
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
– John Krafcik, CEO, Waymo
This indeed is a huge step forward for Waymo, and it is their first overseas project. Waymo’s CFO, Ruth Porat did not discuss their plans in details but did mention that they were looking into exploring a plethora of other things. She said at Alphabet’s annual meeting on Wednesday, “Regulation is one of the gating factors–we continue to work with quite a number of places that are excited about the opportunity to have self driving cars because of the opportunity to help save lives. We see opportunities globally for that.”
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
– Thhierry Bollore, CEO, The Renault Group
The timing of this alliance is curious, to say the least, following the arrest of the former Alliance Chairman Carlos Ghosn’s in Tokyo for alleged financial misconduct. However, Renault, Nissan and their fellow Alliance member Mitsubishi Motors could profit from their new initiative irrespective of their turbulent current relationship.
For its part, Nissan plans to be an early player in the driverless mobility space – Hiroto Saikawa, The CEO and President
He further added, “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.”
The project’s financial details remains unknown as of now as the Mountain View refused to discuss it.