Volkswagen Looking to Waymo Among Others for Autonomous Tech Partnership

VW's CFO said in a press conference that the company is speaking with 'relevant players' in the self-driving scene to form a relationship.

Volkswagen is looking to expand relationships with autonomous mobility companies for future intel developments. Working with giants in the self-driving field, like Google’s Waymo, could propel the carmaker to new heights in terms of the incorporation of this technology. 

It was during a press conference on Tuesday when Volkswagen Chief Financial Officer Frank Witter announced that plans were outlined for the automaker to pair with outside forces to advance their development of the futuristic kit. The particular focus is on companies that have already made significant advancements in the autonomous driving category, allowing for an accelerated tech partnership between the two parties. 

Waymo has a major presence in this area. A partnership with them would mean giving Volkswagen an advantage over other automakers who are working independently to develop their autonomous systems. However, partnering with other car brands to advance the technology as a whole doesn’t seem to be out of the question for Volkswagen. 

“It remains to be seen whether every carmaker develops their own system, or whether you bundle your efforts,” Witter said during the conference.

Witter is being realistic about the cost and effort it would take to try to further develop autonomous driving systems without outside help. However, VW’s main focus seems to be partnering with companies rather than other automakers. 

“We want to have access to a self-driving system and we are speaking with relevant players. It is very expensive to develop and others are already well advanced. Waymo is one of them,” Witter said.

Waymo was founded nine years ago as Google’s self-driving car project and is now run by the online giant’s parent company, Alphabet. Thanks to already-existing collaborations with manufacturers such as Chrysler and Jaguar, the Silicon Valley company has been making strides that put them in the same court as Uber in terms of self-driving tech progress.