Waymo will partner with China's Geely to develop electric robotaxis2021-12-30 19:32 by Daniela
Tags: Waymo, Geely
Waymo is teaming up with Chinese carmaker Geely to build electric, fully autonomous robotaxis for the United States.
The cars will be designed in Sweden (where Geely owns Swedish carmaker Volvo) and will be adapted from Geely's all-electric five-door Zeekr. Waymo will then outfit the cars with the hardware and software necessary for autonomous driving. Waymo said in a blog post that it plans to deploy the vehicles in the US as part of its existing fleet of self-driving robotaxis some time "in the years to come."
That the van lacks a steering wheel and pedals shows it's designed exclusively to be a fully autonomous machine, but equally striking is the lack of a B-pillar. There's no fixed divider between the front and rear doors, leaving a wide, clean opening to the vehicle. This, plus a flat floor make it ideal for ride-hailing duty. Meanwhile, comfortable seating for five points to a utopian future not only where our vehicles drive themselves but when we're comfortable getting in a car with strangers again.
While Waymo appears keen to add the Zeekr minivan to its current fleet of autonomous vehicles that are undergoing testing on public roads, safety regulators will have the final say on whether to give the plan the green light, hence no firm timeline from Waymo.
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