Renault-Nissan and Waymo explore autonomous future
Monetizing autonomous cars
The analysis for the study will take place in France and Japan, where the head offices of the two car manufacturers are located. Other markets, excluding China, could be added at a later stage, according to the press release.
Autonomous cars are already in circulation to study and develop their technical capabilities. What is not clear yet, is how to integrate them into society and the economy. That is what the partnership aims to study. Rather than selling autonomous cars to private customers, Renault and Nissan want to establish ‘autonomous mobility service operators’ that would provide them as a service.
The Alliance between Renault and Nissan is under pressure, with the Ghosn case and the differences in opinion about a possible merger with FCA. Nevertheless, they will establish two joint ventures, one in Japan and one in France, with 50/50 capital input. These companies will be the embryo for a future autonomous mobility service operator.
The possibility for Waymo to participate in the joint ventures is part of the potential options. However, there is no predefined schedule on future involvement in the actual participation of Waymo in real-world projects.
Thanks to their partnership, the newly formed operators in Japan and France can, together with Waymo, work with local authorities. This way, they can help define future regulations for autonomous cars and services.
“We have to deploy autonomous services with a good level of security that is accepted by customers. We are giving a license to cars, not to drivers,” says Hadi Zablit, Renault-Nissan Alliance Senior Vice President responsible for Business Development.
“The input of Waymo consists of the expertise they have accumulated. It will allow us to rapidly define a framework with authorities and partners in France and Japan,” Zablit added.