Renault-Nissan alliance may buddy up with Waymo on self-driving cars

Neither side is ready to talk about it, though.


Waymo is one of the leaders in self-driving-car development, so it makes sense that other automakers would want to shack up with the Google spinoff. The latest automaker to enter that rumor mill is Renault -- and Nissan, and Mitsubishi.

The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance will soon announce a partnership with Waymo concerning autonomy, the Nikkei Asian Review reports, citing sources familiar with the matter. According to the report, both parties are still in talks, but they could announce something in the spring.

But it's not spring yet, and the parties involved don't sound like they're willing to spill the deets early. "This story is based on rumors and speculation," said Alliance spokesman Nick Twork in an emailed statement. "We have nothing to announce." A Waymo spokesperson did not immediately return a request for comment.

The Nikkei report claims the two entities will work together on "mobility as a service," which is a flashy way of saying "services that replace conventional vehicle ownership." Waymo already has its Waymo One service running in the Phoenix area, where riders can hail an autonomous Chrysler Pacifica with a safety driver up front.

Nikkei points out that both companies bring things to the table. The Alliance has connections in Asia and other regions that Waymo could expand to, and Waymo is one of the leaders in AV tech development at the moment. We won't know what form this partnership will take until it's announced, but for now, it doesn't appear to be a lopsided deal favoring one party more than the other.