Could Volkswagen be Waymo's partner in Europe?

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Volkswagen Group Sedric concept, 2017 Geneva auto show

Volkswagen Group Sedric concept, 2017 Geneva auto show

The Volkswagen Group and Waymo are reportedly in talks over partnership in the area of mobility services in Europe.

Germany’s Manager Magazin reported Thursday that the two firms are interested in working together and that VW Group CEO Herbert Diess had even suggested purchasing a 10-percent stake in Waymo for $ 13.7 billion but had his idea dismissed by the rest of the board for being too expensive.

Waymo is one of the leaders when it comes to self-driving technology. The company has promised to launch the first commercial service involving fully self-driving cars later this year, with the service expected to operate initially in Phoenix, Arizona before spreading to other cities in the United States.

Waymo CEO John Krafcik in June said the company will eventually enter the European market, but instead of going it alone in the Old Continent will likely partner with a local firm.

VW Group is already linked with several firms involved in self-driving cars, including Aurora Innovation which is developing a self-driving system and was founded by a former Waymo exec. VW Group is also thought to have attempted buying Aurora Innovation.

VW Group could also be linked with Apple. In May it was reported that vans from VW Group’s Volkswagen brand could be used by Apple for a self-driving shuttle service.

Pictured above is a fully self-driving concept known as the Sedric. It was unveiled by the VW Group in 2017 and previews the type of vehicle the automaker could use for a future automated ride-hailing service. Examples of the Sedric are expected to hit the road on a trial basis in 2021.

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