Honda Motor Co. and Waymo, the newly renamed Google/Alphabet self-driving car initiative, could be teaming up soon. According to a report from Bloomberg, the two companies are in talks to put Waymo’s self-driving technology into Honda’s vehicles.
The report says that “both companies stressed that the talks are about research, rather than full production vehicles at this point,” and “if all goes well,” Honda’s vehicles could be modified for Waymo’s self-driving car fleet.
The deal would be another step for Waymo’s partner model, which aims to have the company sell its technology to car companies rather than try to become an auto manufacturer itself. Waymo has already struck a deal with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to make 100 self-driving minivans based on the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid. The minivans were chosen in part because the sliding doors can close themselves, a necessary feature for an automated taxi service.
Today Honda has a driver-assist package called “Honda Sensing,” which offers lane-keeping assist and adaptive cruise control. Honda has aggressively brought the technology from the realm of luxury cars to mainstream models like the Accord and Civic. Honda has shown off some LIDAR-powered self-driving experiments in the past but has not been as noisy about it as some other manufacturers.