BEIJING, December 29 (TMTPOST) — Chinese automaker Zhejiang Geely Holding Group announced on Wednesday that it has reached a partnership agreement with American autonomous driving technology company Waymo on autonomous driving electric vehicle (EV) fleets.
Geely will provide exclusive EV units from its brand ZEEKR for Waymo’s ride-hailing service Waymo One. Waymo One is a cab-hailing service that offers fully autonomous rides in the East Valley of Phoenix, Arizona. The electric vehicle model will be built on Geely’s new proprietary and open-source mobility architecture SEA-M, which was developed by ZEEKR’s research and development center China Europe Vehicle Technology Centre in Gothenburg, Sweden.
ZEEKR and Waymo will cooperate on developing the autonomous EV specifically for mobility service. The design of the autonomous vehicle model aims to improve the experience of passengers, particularly in convenience and comfort.
The EV model offers options with and without driver controls and adopts a configurable cabin design. In addition, there are also options for different passenger seat arrangements. The EV model will be running on Waymo’s autonomous driving system Waymo Driver for the fleet operation.
The autonomous EV model that Geely and Waymo showed was a minivan with dual sliding doors. Its interior can be configured with or without a steering control, the two companies said.
Image Source: Waymo
“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,” Andy An, CEO of ZEEKR said.
Established in early 2021, Zeekr is a new electric mobility technology and solutions brand under Geely based in Sweden. The brand specializes in premium electric vehicles and makes use of Geely’s Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA) to develop premium EV models. Zeekr’s first EV model, the Zeekr 001, was launched in April 2021.