Honda has announced that it is entering into formal discussions with Waymo, the recently spun Alphabet subsidiary, to collaborate on self driving cars. The effort will focus on research, rather than building full production vehicles. As part of the discussion on technical collaboration, Honda says it could initially provide Waymo with vehicles modified to accommodate its self-driving technology, and these vehicles would join Waymo’s existing fleet that’s currently being tested across four U.S. cities.
Honda previously announced its intention to put production vehicles with automated driving capabilities on highways sometime around 2020. The company sees this as a way to explore a different technological approach to bring fully self-driving technology to market in addition to its ongoing in-house efforts.
The Japanese automaker has been rather quiet about its plans for self-driving cars, but it did show off a self-driving prototype in June it has been testing in Northern California.
Google for its part recently shelved the idea of creating its own self-driving cars and will instead work to get its self-driving technology into vehicles from established automakers.
Honda’s announcement marks Google’s second potential tie-up with an automaker over its self-driving technology. The first came in May this year, when the technology giant signed a deal with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV to incorporate its technology into 100 Chrysler Pacifica plug-in hybrid minivans. We got a first glimpse at those vehicles earlier this week, they should hit public roads for testing sometime in 2017.