Waymo and Volvo have bounded with to develop an all-new driverless electric vehicle. The two companies announced Thursday an “exclusive” partnership to unite Waymo’s self-driving software into a new electric vehicle designed for ride-hailing.
Waymo founded 11 years ago as a small project inside Google, now widely considered the leader in developing self-driving technology, which expands its external investment around $3 billion.
Watch: Waymo and Volvo New Project
Waymo LLC is an American autonomous driving technology development company. It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Alphabet Inc. Waymo originated as a project of Google and became a stand-alone company in December 2016. In April 2017, Waymo started a limited trial of a self-driving taxi service in Phoenix, Arizona.
On December 5, 2018, the service launched a commercial self-driving car service called “Waymo One.” The Volvo Group is a Swedish multinational manufacturing company headquartered in Gothenburg. While its core activity is the production, distribution, and sale of trucks, buses and construction equipment, Volvo also supplies marine and industrial drive systems and financial services.
Waymo and the Volvo Cars Group have agreed to develop a self-driving electric vehicle designed for ride hailing use, as part of a new global partnership.
Waymo and Volvo deal
Volvo and Waymo provided few details on the partnership and what this might look like except that the companies “will first work together to integrate the Waymo Driver into an all-new mobility-focused electric vehicle platform for ride-hailing services.”
The phrase “first work together” suggests more is coming. We know that the new vehicle platform will be capable of Level 4 autonomy, a designation by SAE that means it can handle all driving in a specific geographic area or particular weather and road conditions.
The partnership also includes other subsidiaries under Volvo Car Group, which recently restarted production including electric performance brand Polestar and Lynk & Co. International, a point that Volvo Car Group CTO Henrik Green specifically noted in his prepared statement.
The autonomous-vehicle company said it would work with Volvo and its global brands to integrate its self-driving Waymo Driver system into a new mobility-focused electric-vehicle platform geared toward ridesharing services.
Waymo and Volvo did not say when or where they expect to launch their new ride-hailing vehicle. Waymo said it would continue working with Fiat Chrysler, Jaguar Land Rover, and the Renault Nissan Mitsubishi Alliance.