What exactly does it mean? Clearly, Waymo brings its technical expertise, while Renault and Nissan bring manufacturing know-how, as well as insider knowledge of local laws and politics. Both want to find out how to turn autonomous vehicles into a profitable and profitable company. But as in most autonomous vehicle partnerships – and especially those involving Waymo, the Alphabet autonomous vehicle technology company – the whole thing is still a bit mysterious.
On the one hand, companies qualify this agreement as "exclusive", but each of them still has a lot to do. Nissan has its own function of assisting the semi-automated driver called ProPilot Assist is working internally to put autonomous vehicles on public roads by 2020. Renault is part of French autonomous multi-organization laboratory projectwho is experimenting with autonomous vehicles. Waymo, meanwhile, you use Custom Fiat Chrysler and Jaguar Land Rover vehicles to test his unmanned software in the United States. A spokesman for Waymo said the exclusivity of the new deal concerns the territory, which seems to prohibit Waymo from working with other companies in France or Japan, at least for the moment.
In the announcement announced Thursday, Nissan and Renault announced their intention to create joint ventures dedicated to the development of robotic vehicles in France and Japan, although the longevity of the three-way partnership is unclear. It will exist for what the parties call "an initial period", which indicates an end date. Waymo and Renault spokesmen declined to say when.
Waymo spokesperson also described the deal as "first step [and] first part of the partnership", which seems to suggest that it could develop in the future – perhaps be through a deployment of self-driving technologies on Nissan and Renault cars in Japan and France, and even beyond the borders of these countries.
A Nissan spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.
As in the United States, autonomous vehicle designers from other countries have to solve many regulatory, legal and commercial problems. The Japanese government has said it wants autonomous vehicles in the country by 2020, in time for the Tokyo Olympics, and for the Japanese diet. changed some of its road laws last month allow vehicles with certain automated functions to operate in certain capacities with limited capacity. The French government said that it wanted a self-driving technology by 2020 or 2022, and legislation allowing certain autonomous vehicles in the country is currently undergoing work.
Aarian Marshall covers autonomous vehicles, transport policy and WIRED urban planning.
Of course, laws are only part of the challenge of the robotic car. Technology experts have pointed out that the deployment of autonomous vehicles in any new location will require work. It is quite difficult to teach a machine to understand nuanced aspects of human behavior, like the friendly wave, a pilot could give another to the movement, yes, of course, you can cut in front of me now. But teaching an autonomous system to manage the subtleties of the specific modes of conduct of each culture is even more difficult.
"In Pittsburgh, for example, we have what's called a left turn of Pittsburgh, and that's the local culture," said Raj Rajkumar, who studies autonomous vehicle technology at Carnegie Mellon, in 2017, when Waymo began testing his vehicles in the Michigan snow. "Boston has a driving culture where people park in a hurry and we need to teach autonomous vehicles how to deal with all these situations."
If nothing else, the announcement on Thursday is a sign that one of the most remarkable trends in the nascent self-driving industry-establish and break great international partnershipsHe's going strong. Last month, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles scuttled a merger with the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Then the Italian-American car manufacturer said that it would be working with the Aurora self-driving startup on autonomous vehicles. Last week, Aurora also said that he was work with Hyundai and Kia, and that he had insisted on taking a break from his work with Volkswagen. Toyota works with Uber. BMW and Daimler are collaborate on mobility efforts. Volkswagen could be on the verge of signing an agreement with Ford and the autonomous partner of the American manufacturer ArgoAI.
"We are in the consolidation phase," Sheriff Marakby, CEO of Ford Autonomous Vehicles, told WIRED in an interview last week. That the society that learns to say "Register on the dotted line" wins most languages.