Auto Tech

Waymo will need 'a large number' of cars to expand to Europe

CEO John Krafcik still figuring out who will supply these vehicles.

Waymo

If Waymo wants to take its operation beyond US borders, it's going to need to find cars -- a whole lot of 'em, in fact.

A Waymo spinoff in Europe will need "a large number" of cars, Reuters reports, citing an interview in Germany's Handelsblatt newspaper with Waymo CEO John Krafcik. He declined to mention a specific number, just saying that's going to take a significant quantity.

Waymo is looking for a lot of cars, so smaller companies like Jaguar might have trouble filling those orders quickly.

Waymo

The self-driving startup that spun off from its parent company Google has never been shy about its aspirations. After starting its pilot autonomous ride-sharing program in Phoenix, Waymo's working to take its show on the road and expand into other markets, apparently including countries outside the US.

Here in the US, Waymo will rely on two automakers to provide the platforms on which the company adds its autonomous hardware and software. It first announced a partnership with Chrysler, which will provide the company with tens of thousands of Chrysler Pacifica minivans, the vehicle most closely associated with Waymo at the moment. Earlier this year, Waymo announced a similar partnership with Jaguar that will see Waymo-branded I-Pace EVs.

What's perhaps most interesting is that, despite all the company has done here in the US, it believes its name isn't well-known enough in Europe. Thus, any expansion of its service to Europe will likely come under a different name. Krafcik told Handelsblatt that Waymo would work with a European car brand, but again, he declined to specify which one.

Waymo is making the most headway of any AV company. It has already ditched the safety driver in its Phoenix pilot program, and its safety record is practically perfect -- the only recent accidents involving its vehicles have been the result of bad human drivers in its vicinity.