Reportedly, three of the major car manufacturers across the globe is to be in advanced negotiations with Waymo, the autonomous driving unit of Google, over the utilisation of the tech of the division for transport services.
Today, the Nikkei reported that people who are familiar with the matter revealed that the alliance between Renault SA, Nissan Motor Co. and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. is said to be exploring a partnership with Waymo in which the two parties would develop self-driving taxis as well as other mobility-as-a-service infrastructure.
The said partnership could be announced as early as this coming spring.
A spokesperson for the said alliance stated: “This story is based on rumours and speculation. We have nothing to announce.”
Waymo did not comment regarding the matter.
According to the Nikkei, the possibilities for the tie-up include the development of a fleet of driverless taxis that make use of the vehicles of Nissan and a system that handles both reservation and payments.
Previously, Waymo has revealed deals with Tata Motors Ltd.’s Jaguar Land Rover and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV. A partnership with the French-Japanese alliance would be considered as its biggest yet.
The move was revealed after Toyota, a rival manufacturer, announced a deal that it has made with the driverless technology unit of Uber last year with an investment amounting to approximately $500 million (£386 million). It has also since partnered with Softbank, an Uber investor, to expand its technology capabilities.
The said alliance has been under intense scrutiny in recent months after Carlos Ghosn, its former boss, was arrested in Japan over the suspicion of underreporting his pay for several years.
Ghosn also served as the chairman of Nissan. He has since denied the charges. He is set to be replaced by the newest chairman of Renault, Jean-Dominique Senard, on the Nissan board at the next shareholder meeting of the company that is scheduled this coming April.