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Waymo In Deal With Renault-Nissan On Driverless Vehicles In France, Japan

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Waymo, formerly the Google self-driving car project, is partnering car makers Renault SA and Nissan Motor Co Ltd. to explore driverless mobility services in their home markets of France and Japan, focusing initially on passengers and delivery of goods.

The three companies will work together to research commercial, legal and regulatory issues related to driverless transportation-as-a-service offerings in France and Japan.

After analyzing these markets, the companies plan to expand this to other markets, excluding China.

Waymo's self-driving technology claims to have built the world's most experienced driver with more than 10 million miles of autonomous driving on public roads across 25 U.S. cities. Waymo's technology will now be delivered beyond North America for the first time.

The humongous cost involved in manufacturing driverless vehicles has pushed automakers to use these vehicles as transportation-as-a-service such as taxi service, ride-hailing service and delivery of goods.

Nissan said it aims to be an early provider of driverless mobility service as part of its mid-term plan called Nissan M.O.V.E 2022 to evolve its business to meet changing consumer behavior.

The partnership with Renault and Nissan could be Waymo's largest to date, while it already has alliances with companies ranging from Fiat Chrysler, Jaguar Land Rover, Lyft, Avis and AutoNation.

Earlier in the month Waymo had said it re-started testing of self-driving truck technology in the Phoenix area.

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