From Waymo’s announcement, it teams up with Geely to bring the Waymo One autonomous ride-hailing fleet in the US in the coming years.
The product development is at Geely Zeekr’s R&D facility, CEVT (China Europe Vehicle Technology) center, in Sweden. Waymo will integrate its Waymo Driver into a robotaxi base from Geely’s SEA (Sustainable Experience Architecture) M platform.
In addition, both Waymo and Geely have partnerships with other companies to develop self-driving cars. For example, Waymo is working with Stellantis and Jaguar in the US. Geely has cooperated with Baidu in China.
Since Geely Zeekr are made in China, the Waymo One should be manufactured in China. But under consideration of the requirements of the US government, the production base will be highly likely in America.
We think the reason why Waymo cooperates with Geely is that its ability of cost reduction, control of supply chain, and management of the service centers (from Volvo and Polestar) in the US. Except Geely, there is no any other Chinese carmaker to sell cars in the US because Chinese cars are not made to fit US Federal Motor Vehicles Safety Standards.
The cooperation also highlights that most passengers might care more about the brands of robotaxi, such as Waymo, rather than which brands of cars they take. Thus, this cooperation will open a door for Chinese EV OEMs to enter the US market by robotaxi in the coming years.
Researcher and Research here defines EV as battery electric vehicle (BEV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), with passenger car as the primary purpose.