French automaker Renault SA, its partner Nissan Motor Co. and tech giant Alphabet Inc.'s Waymo have agreed to assess the feasibility of a partnership to develop and use self-driving vehicles to transport people and goods in France and Japan, the companies said on Thursday.

The potential venture could also be expanded to other markets, the companies said.

If the partnership is realized, it will have ramifications for other alliances and other self-driving projects, most of which have yet to hit the road. Automakers across the world are rethinking independent autonomous vehicle efforts, and are instead looking for partners to share rising investment costs and regulatory risks.