Waymo and Volvo have entered into a partnership for the development of a level 4 robotic electric vehicle for carsharing. This agreement does not preclude collaboration with FCA, Jaguar Land Rover and Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi.
Waymo announces the signing of a strategic partnership with the manufacturer Volvo Car and its other brands, Polestar and Lynk & Co – all owned by the Geely group. As a reminder, Waymo (Alphabet group) is one of the leaders in the autonomous driving sector.
No specific details of this agreement, except that Waymo has become a “Exclusive global partner” from Volvo Car for the development of level 4 autonomous driving. This quasi-robotized level may require the intervention of a human driver in the event of problems. Waymo One, the first paid robotic car-sharing service launched in December 2018, is made up of a fleet of vehicles that integrate the Waymo Driver driving system accompanied by a safety driver.
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As part of this global partnership, the two parties will work to develop “A whole new mobility-oriented electric vehicle platform for car-sharing services”. In addition, Volvo Car luxury electric sports brand Polestar said Waymo's autonomous driving system will allow it to create new “Superior quality autonomous mobility services”.
For Adam Frost, general manager of the Waymo automobile, “This key partnership with Volvo Car Group is helping to pave the way for the worldwide deployment of the Waymo Driver in the years to come, and represents an important step in the highly competitive autonomous vehicle industry”.
As for Volvo Car, this delegation of driving has the “Potential to improve road safety to levels never seen before, and to revolutionize the way people live, work and move”, says Henrik Green, chief technology officer at Volvo Car Group. Moreover, the car manufacturer will, from 2022, integrate lidars on its passenger cars.
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These sensors will initially be used for an autonomous driving system on motorways, more advanced than the Level 2 Pilot Assist system currently offered by the Swedish manufacturer.
Although exclusive, this strategic agreement will not prevent Waymo from continuing to collaborate with Fiat-Chrysler Automobile (FCA), supplier of 1,000 Chrysler Pacifica minivans, but also with Jaguar Land Rover (20,000 Jaguar I-Pace) and the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance.