Waymo Teams with Renault-Nissan in France and Japan

Alphabet Inc.’s Waymo self-driving car unit has signed deals with alliance partners Renault SA and Nissan Motor Co. to explore driverless mobility services in France and Japan.

The agreements are Waymo’s first initiatives outside of the U.S., where the company has been testing self-driving vehicles with other partners for several years. Waymo, which started as Google’s autonomous vehicle project in 2009, currently is working with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Jaguar Land Rover, Lyft and the AutoNation dealership group.

The partnerships with Renault and Nissan will evaluate the potential for robo-taxis, passenger shuttles and autonomous delivery vehicles. The partners also will research legal and regulatory issues related to self-driving vehicles in multiple markets. No timeframe was provided for testing or possible commercial applications.

There are no immediate plans for Renault-Nissan to supply vehicles to Waymo, which currently modifies Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivans and Jaguar i-Pace electric cars for testing and pilot programs.

Following the initial studies in France and Japan, Waymo may work with Renault-Nissan in other markets. But the partnership won’t involve China.