Waymo’s autonomous driving technology footprint is expanding- this time in partnership with Swedish automaker Volvo Group. As per the latest news, Alphabet Inc.’s Waymo LLC and Volvo Group have reportedly entered into a partnership to develop autonomous vehicles designed for ride-hailing purposes.
According to sources familiar with the knowledge of the matter, Waymo will be the ‘exclusive level 4 global partner’ for Valvo Car Group. It means that Volvo will leverage Waymo’s level 4 self-driving technology to deploy electric taxis in the future. The deal also applies to Volvo’s two subbrands i.e Lynk & Polestar.
Speaking on the partnership, Henrik Green, Chief Technology Officer at Volvo said that fully autonomous vehicles can significantly improve road safety and to revolutionize the way people travel, work, and live. The company’s global partnership with Waymo opens exciting business opportunities for Valvo Cars, Lynk & Co., and Polestar.
From the past few years, Waymo has been partnering with several automakers to deploy autonomous vehicles. Volvo is the fourth company that inked a partnership with Waymo to implement AV technology in its vehicles. The Alphabet-owned company also has pre-existing agreements with Jaguar Land Rover, Fiat Chrysler, and Nissan-Renault. Volvo Group is planning to introduce a handful of EVs in the forthcoming time, including the Polestar 2, XC40 Recharge.
Previously, the Swedish automaker also inked a partnership agreement with ride-hailing giant Uber to deploy autonomous taxis by 2019, but that plan was scrapped after an Uber test vehicle killed a pedestrian in Arizona in 2017. The company still has a partnership with Uber’s autonomous division, and the previous year, the two companies introduced an autonomous version of the Volvo XC90 SUV.
For the record, Level 4 autonomous vehicles can operate without human intervention, but only with a specific location and under certain conditions like good weather. Waymo already has some level 4 vehicles in operation outside of Phoenix, Arizona.