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As Uber and Tesla struggle with driverless cars, Waymo moves forward
"The last few months have had a lot of bad news for fans of self-driving cars. Last December, after news that Volvo and Ford might not achieve ambitious early goals, Wired wrote that self-driving cars were entering a "trough of disillusionment." Events over the last six months have only deepened that trough."
cars  cruise  self  driving  uber  waymo 
21 days ago by jonerp
Waymo Set to Purchase 62k Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Minivans for Autonomous Ride-Share Service | TheDetroitBureau.com
FCA previously committed to providing several thousand of the plug-in people-movers. Waymo has also committed to purchasing up to 20,000 Jaguar I-Pace battery-electric SUVs, and CEO John Krafcik has told TheDetroitBureau.com that it expects to add still other models for use in the planned self-driving ride-share service that is currently in pilot testing in Phoenix. Commercial service will launch in that city later this year, Krafcik announced in March, and will eventually expand to “other” cities across the U.S.
fca  waymo  technology  selfdriving 
21 days ago by automotive
As Uber and Tesla struggle with driverless cars, Waymo moves forward | Ars Technica
> Fleet Response Specialists possess valid driver’s licenses and are responsible for monitoring the status of all Waymo vehicles in real-time using a virtual tool. A separate Rider Support team provides customer support and is available to communicate with passengers at any point. Waymo specified that it had trained 70 Fleet Response Specialists and 23 Rider Support team members—suggesting that when a service does roll out, it will be on quite a significant scale.

So Waymo's recently announced car deals—20,000 cars from Jaguar Land Rover, another 62,000 from Fiat Chrysler—are just the latest sign that Waymo is assembling all the pieces it will need for a full-scale commercial taxi service in the Phoenix area and likely other places not long after that.

It would be foolish for Waymo to invest so heavily in all this infrastructure if its technology were still years away from being ready for commercial deployment. Those 23 rider support workers need customers to talk to. And, of course, Waymo needs to get those 82,000 Jaguar and Chrysler vehicles on the road to avoid losing millions of dollars on the investment.
self_driving  car  google  2018  waymo 
21 days ago by porejide
How Waymo plans to develop and deploy its brand
Waymo does want to be in the auto business, with its own brand, starting with a fleet of autonomous taxis this year. But instead of spending billions on assembly plants and the development of its own vehicles and platforms, Waymo is partnering with automakers to use their cars and trucks to showcase its technology brand and develop a lineup of vehicles.

The brand-building approach takes a page from the old Saleen and Shelby works, tuners and stylists of limited-edition, high-performance vehicles based on Ford Mustangs and pickups. But it's a more democratic version of that concept. The idea is that a Waymo-branded vehicle can be whatever you want it to be: a minivan or a sedan, an EV or an SUV.
waymo  technology  selfdriving 
22 days ago by automotive
Waymo Isn’t Slowing Down: Pact With Honda Could Include Delivery - Bloomberg
The Honda model may move people and goods, Krafcik hinted; it might be smaller than a truck and could come without a steering wheel or brakes. A Honda spokesman said the companies are “continuing to explore” the relationship. 
hondac  commercial  technology  selfdriving  waymo 
4 weeks ago by automotive
Waymo will put 20,000 self-driving Jaguar I-PACE SUVs on roads
The Alphabet-owned company is planning to add 20,000 of the luxury SUVs outfitted with its class-leading self-driving car technology within the next two years. The new self-driving car will be one of the handful of autonomous vehicles that'll be available to hail as part of is "Waymo Service" launching later this year.
waymo  jlr  jaguar  technology  selfdriving 
5 weeks ago by automotive

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