Waymo selects Chinese automaker for its electric robo-taxis1. September 2022
In December 2021, Alphabet subsidiary Waymo announced it would partner with Chinese automaker Geely for its fleet of self-driving cabs. The all-electric and autonomous vehicles will be designed in Sweden (Geely owns Swedish car brand Volvo) and based on Geely’s Zeekr EV. Waymo will take care of the necessary technical equipment and software needed for autonomous driving. In this regard, Waymo announced that there are plans to deploy the vehicles in the U.S. at some point to complement its existing fleet of robo-taxis. Vehicles and components must be awarded a CCC certificate in order for the products to be exported to China or manufactured locally.
Images of a finished concept car show a vehicle designed specifically for autonomous cab driving. It has a level floor space, low step-in height, and the lack of a B-pillar makes it easier to get in and out. In addition, sliding doors and seats that fold back are used, sufficient headroom is also provided. Waymo shared that future models will not have a steering wheel or pedals. Only a screen is planned, on which passengers will be able to follow the progress of the journey.
Geely and Waymo’s collaboration highlights how almost the entire automotive industry is currently trying to capitalize on the self-driving EV market through partnerships and joint ventures. Waymo is already working with Stellantis and Jaguar Land Rover on autonomous vehicles. Geely, on the other hand, wants to transform Volvo into an all-electric car brand, as it did previously with Polestar.
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