Alphabet’s autonomous driving unit, Waymo, is looking to expand its autonomous services to Europe, potentially offering a fully driverless car fleet in cooperation with a local partner.
The company’s CEO, John Krafcik, spoke at the annual Automotive News Europe Congress, saying that they will “take a very different approach” on the Old Continent as opposed to how they usually go about doing things in the U.S., Autonews reports.
“There’s an opportunity for us at Waymo to experiment here in Europe, with different product forms, with different products and maybe even with different go-to-market strategies”, Krafcik said.
Despite having its own mobility service in Phoenix, Arizona and the San Francisco Bay area in the near future, Waymo will likely seek out a partner to help them out in Europe, added Krafcik.
“It’s probably fair to say that the Waymo brand wouldn’t be as strong as some other existing incumbent brands that are already strong in Europe, so that’s one potentially different go to market approach.”
A potential partner could include either FCA or JLR, both under contract with the U.S. autonomous driving firm. According to Krafcik, Waymo could actually strengthen its ties with FCA, turning a transportation service partnership into a “personal-use licensing product” type of deal.
During a recent FCA event at the Balocco Proving Ground in Italy, Waymo showcased their self-driving capabilities in front of investors.
“For the first time, we brought Waymo technology to Europe and demonstrated true Level 4, no-humans-in-the-front-row, fully autonomous, no-safety-net driving right here in Italy”, Waymo’s boss noted.
Moreover, he also announced that the company’s fleets have recently surpassed the 7 million mile mark for fully autonomous driving on public roads.
“The world keeps saying that self-driving cars are coming soon. We’re doing this. Today. In Phoenix. Driving without humans in the front row.”