Japanese carmaker, Honda Motor Co. Ltd is teaming up with Alphabet Inc. The two companies are currently in formal talks to supply Alphabet's Waymo's with Honda vehicles to properly test its self-driving technology, according to a report from Bloomberg.
Waymo, originally known as Google's self-driving car project, has been set to make driverless cars available in 2020. Rather than manufacture automobiles, the company aims to sell its technology. Waymo already took its first steps after striking a deal with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to make self-driving minivans based on the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid.
Regarding Honda, Waymo said it was looking forward to exploring opportunities to collaborate with the Japanese company to advance fully self-driving technology and to make roads safer. Once an agreement is finalized, Honda and Waymo engineers would merge Waymo's software with the Japanese vehicles, similar to the Fiat Chrysler deal. Afterwards, the vehicles would be tested on the roads of cities in the US: Kirkland, Washington; Phoenix, Arizona; Mountain View, California; and Austin, Texas.
However, both companies have stressed that the current talks are still all about research rather than full vehicle production. Honda is also not abandoning its efforts to develop their own unmanned driving system. Honda currently has "Honda Sensing," lane-keeping assist feature for drivers which can adapt cruise control, designed to make driving safer.
"There's only so much technology a company can develop while focusing on one specific approach," Teruhiko Tatebe, a Honda spokesman told Reuters. "By approaching it from multiple angles it's possible to come up with new innovations quicker."
The partnership is still unclear so for now, we will just have to wait until Honda's new Odyssey is unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in January of 2017, a good arena of opportunity for the companies to formalize their agreements to the world.