With this partnership, Volvo aims to utilise Waymo's expertise in autonomous driving tech for its future EV-based ride-hailing services.
Volvo Car Group has inked a partnership with Waymo that makes the latter Volvo's exclusive partner for Level 4 (or L4, as per the SAE International convention) autonomous drive technology. For those not aware, Waymo, formerly known as Google's self-driving car project (of 2009), is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Alphabet Inc. (Google's parent company). It became a standalone company in December 2016 and in 2017, launched trials of its self-driving taxi service in Phoenix, Arizona (USA).
As for the new partnership with Volvo, Waymo will look to integrate its self-driving technology, Waymo Driver, into Volvo's new EV platform for ride-hailing services. However, no information is available on the kind of EV platform Volvo is developing for the Waymo Driver's integration.
Sharing his thoughts on the partnership with Volvo, Adam Frost (Cheif Automotive Officer - Waymo) said, 'This key partnership with Volvo Car Group helps pave the path to the deployment of the Waymo Driver abroad in years to come, and represents an important milestone in the highly competitive autonomous vehicle industry. Volvo Car Group shares our vision of creating an autonomous future where roads are safer, and transportation is more accessible and greener. We’re thrilled to welcome Volvo Car Group as our latest automotive partner.'
Volvo's commitment to increase road safety needs no explanation. Most recently, the Swedish carmaker announced that all its cars would have their top speed limited to 180km/h. On the autonomous front, Volvo's next-gen SPA 2 modular vehicle architecture will be LiDAR-ready by 2022, that will aid autonomous driving capability.