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Jared Wickerham / AP

If carmakers want to beat out the software industry in the race to autonomous cars, they may need to start acting more like their Silicon Valley rivals. Alphabet's Waymo has been particularly aggressive in trying to find partners, while even Uber and Lyft have looked for ways to collaborate with self-driving partners.

  • The carmakers have also been trying to find allies, but fear has slowed the pace of collaborative progress. Despite announcing a partnership to work on autonomous driving together last December, Honda and Waymo, Alphabet's self-driving car unit, haven't made much progress on that front, the companies told the Wall Street Journal.
  • "Nothing concrete" has been planned yet by the two companies, Honda CEO Takahiro Hachigo told the Journal. "We are still at the study stage and haven't come up with specific research or businesses."
  • Why it matters: Though Honda insists that it does collaborate well with other companies, the slow-moving partnership with Waymo highlights the divergence in approaches between the carmakers and Silicon Valley.

Attempting to build closed and proprietary autonomous driving technology could also leave automakers with the same fate as Nokia and Blackberry, which unfortunately lost the smartphone race to the platform-oriented Apple and Android, George Hotz, founder of self-driving car startup Comma.ai, recently told Axios.

Caveat: In contrast, Chrysler's partnership with Waymo has been going well, and the two were able to get sensor-equipped cars on the road within six months of striking a deal. Of course, it isn't always the carmakers that fail to partner. According to reports it was Google's parent company, not Ford, that backed out on a deal between those two companies.

Go deeper

6 mins ago - Technology

3D printing's next act: big metal objects

Chief Scientist Andy Bayramian makes modifications to the laser system on Seurat's 3D metal printer. Photo courtesy of Seurat Technologies.

A new metal 3D printing technology could revolutionize the way large industrial products like planes and cars are made, reducing the cost and carbon footprint of mass manufacturing.

Why it matters: 3D printing — also called additive manufacturing — has been used since the 1980s to make small plastic parts and prototypes. Metal printing is newer, and the challenge has been figuring out how to make things like large car parts faster and cheaper than traditional methods.

Rising rates may hammer the stock market

Illustration: Sarah Grillo / Axios

Stocks are much more vulnerable to interest rate swings than they used to be.

Why it matters: A sharp rise in rates in early 2022 is the key reason the stock market is off to an ugly start. And with the Federal Reserve making noise about trying to keep inflation in check, rates could go higher.

Ina Fried, author of Login
51 mins ago - Technology

Microsoft's Activision Blizzard deal complicates Big Tech regulation

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

Microsoft's surprise $68 billion deal to buy Activision Blizzard is adding a fresh twist to the heated debate over which tech companies have monopolies that need to be reined in.

The big picture: The deal could force a question the company has happily ducked for a decade: whether its size and power make it just as deserving of regulatory scrutiny as its Big Tech rivals.