ZEEKR AND WAYMO TO COLLABORATE ON ALL-ELECTRIC, FULLY AUTONOMOUS RIDE-HAILING VEHICLE
Hangzhou, China and California, USA. Geely Holding Group’s (Geely) premium electric brand, Zeekr, will collaborate with Waymo on the development of a new pure electric vehicle for deployment in the Waymo One autonomous ride-hailing fleet in the United States.
The Program Explained / The plan
The new purpose-built mobility vehicle is being designed and developed at Zeekr’s R&D facility, CEVT (China Europe Vehicle Technology Centre) in Gothenburg, Sweden which has a proven track record in developing class leading vehicles for the wider Geely Holding Group. Under this collaboration, Zeekr will be designing and developing the future vehicle on a new proprietary and open-source mobility architecture. Waymo will take delivery of the vehicles in the United States and will then integrate its fully autonomous Waymo Driver into the vehicle platform.
The new vehicle will be designed to be rider-centric from the outset, setting a new benchmark for autonomous vehicles. The new Zeekr vehicle has been designed for autonomous use-cases and will come with a fully configurable cabin, both with and without driver controls, that can be tailored towards rider requirements for the Waymo One unmanned ride-hailing fleet in the US.
Illustrative: Actual design will reflect standards applicable to the vehicle at time of manufacture
Zeekr was founded in early 2021 as a global technology-mobility brand with design and engineering resources in Sweden. The first model from Zeekr, the 001, was introduced in April 2021 with deliveries starting in October of the same year.
Quotes / What they say
Andy An, CEO, Zeekr Technology: “Zeekr was born on the ideals of equality, diversity, and sustainability. By becoming a strategic partner and vehicle supplier to the Waymo One fleet, we will be able to share our experience, ideals and provide our expertise in collaborating on a fully electric vehicle that fits Waymo’s requirements for this rapidly expanding segment in the global market for sustainable travel.”
ESTABLISHING A LONG-TERM ALLIANCE WITH J.B. HUNT FOR AUTONOMOUS TRUCKING
2021 was a watershed year for Waymo Via when it came to deep industry collaboration, and 2022 will be no different. Starting the year off strong, we’re expanding our relationship with J.B. Hunt and entering into a long-term, strategic alliance to commercialize autonomous driving technology for trucking transportation together. This builds on the great success we shared with our initial trial runs in 2021 and the extraordinary relationship we have with their team already.
As part of this agreement, we intend for J.B. Hunt to be Waymo Via’s first launch customer for freight movement when we deploy fully autonomous operations in Texas in the next few years. We’ll expand on the success of our most recent pilot, with a number of additional autonomous delivery efforts planned together to prepare for these fully autonomous operations. We’ll also continue to conduct joint operational and market studies as we chart the commercial success of our autonomous driving technology and J.B. Hunt’s operations, and later on, we’ll explore a technology integration with J.B. Hunt and J.B. Hunt 360.
J.B. Hunt is a strong and expert collaborator in shaping our Waymo Via solution and bringing autonomous driving technology to market for them and their customers, and we believe that J.B. Hunt’s commitment to innovation will positively impact their market leadership. We look forward to continuing to advance these efforts as well as launch additional pilots in Texas in the coming months.
Charlie Jatt, Head of Commercialization for Trucking, Waymo Via - “Our collaboration with J.B. Hunt in 2021 was incredibly fruitful. Establishing this strategic alliance marks an exciting moment for our relationship, and more importantly, paves the way for us both to help grow the foundations for successful deployment and to capitalize on the benefits of autonomous driving technology. We’re incredibly grateful for our relationship with J.B. Hunt and their shared vision for the safety and efficiency benefits we can bring to the industry at a critical time.”
Craig Harper, Chief Sustainability Officer, J.B. Hunt - “Our pilot last year with Waymo Via really helped us get a hands-on understanding of how autonomous driving technology could be implemented within our operations. This strategic alliance will continue that momentum and further explore the intricate details that would make this a value-driven solution for customers. We believe autonomous driving technology will help us create the most efficient transportation network in North America, and our collaboration with Waymo Via is a pivotal step towards fulfilling that mission.”