Groupe Renault, Nissan Motor Co., and Waymo have joined hands to explore all aspects of driverless mobility services for passengers and deliveries. The agreement will last for a specific initial period and cover research in France and Japan.
The agreement is designed to bring together the strengths of each member and expand expertise by assessing market opportunities. Working together to research commercial, legal, and regulatory issues related to autonomous mobility as a service, the alliance will focus on feasibility of offerings in the two countries.
With four of the biggest firms in the world joining hands for future mobility, we can be sure that forthcoming technology and products from the alliance would introduce a radical change in the automotive industry.
The trio of Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi has a global footprint and portfolios covering every segment of passenger and light commercial vehicles. As such, the three firms are uniquely suited to join the business exploration with Waymo, one of the world’s leading self-driving technology company building the world’s most experienced AV. Waymo already has more than 16 million kilometres (10 million miles) of testing on public roads under its belt.
The agreement marks a first step to developing long-term, profitable autonomous mobility services. After France and Japan, home of Groupe Renault and Nissan respectively, the alliance might extend its exploratory phase to China in the future. To expedite the exploration process, Renault and Nissan will create JV alliance-focused companies in France and Japan dedicated to driverless mobility services.
Thierry Bollore, Groupe Renault CEO, commented on the alliance, saying, “The story of tomorrow’s mobility will be jointly written, with the cooperation of the Alliance with Waymo, as industry leaders, opening new perspectives for driverless mobility services. 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.”
Nissan has a mid-term plan to evolve its business to meet changing consumer behaviour, by being an early provider of driverless mobility services. The plan is named Nissan M.O.V.E. to 2022, and is aimed at transforming the Japanese automaker into a tour de force, staying relevant for the foreseeable future. Says Hiroto Saikawa, President and CEO of Nissan Motor Co., “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.“
Google's Waymo is ideally suited to be a part of the alliance, as it is at the forefront of research and development of autonomous mobility technology.
Finally, Waymo also stands to benefit to a large extent through an alliance with three of the world’s foremost automobile manufacturers. John Krafcik, CEO of Waymo, said, “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.”
Such alliances are the need of the hour, as autonomous vehicles cannot take to public streets without a comprehensive legal and commercial framework in place. Were major firms to unite in pursuit of a common goal, the pace of development would rapidly pick up, allowing cars of the future to become roadworthy sooner than projected.