Geely has announced a collaboration between its electric vehicle brand Zeekr and Waymo for the development of a new, fully electric and autonomous ride-hailing vehicle that will be deployed in the Waymo One autonomous ride-hailing fleet in the United States.
The new ride-hailing vehicle is being developed at the China Europe Vehicle Technology Centre (CEVT) in Gothenburg, Sweden that also develops vehicles for other makes in the group of companies, said Geely.
Through this collaboration, Zeekr will design and develop the future vehicle on a new proprietary and open-source mobility architecture, while Waymo will take delivery of the vehicles in the United States, and then integrate the fully autonomous Waymo Driver systems into the vehicle platform.
The new platform appears to share thinking with the group’s Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA), which also fits the bill of being an open-source EV platform. This architecture formed the basis of the Lynk & Co Zero concept, which was productionised as the Zeekr 001.
According to Geely, the new autonomous ride-hailing vehicle will be designed from the outset to be rider-centric, and therefore designed for autonomous use cases. The fully configurable cabin will be offered both with and without driver controls, and which can be customised to the needs of the Waymo One driverless ride-hailing fleet for deployment in the United States, Geely added.
“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,” said Zeekr Technology CEO Andy An.
Waymo and the Geely Group have partnered for self-driving electric vehicles before, via a global partnership with Volvo for a fleet of vehicles specifically for ride-hailing applications.
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