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Alphabet's Waymo on Dec 5 launched a significant development in its costly, decade-long quest for autonomous transportation: self-driving taxis that actually generate fares.
Anitha Arackaparampil likes the idea of robot cars delivering groceries to her Burlingame home for her family of four – in theory.
Waymo, the first company to get approval from the Department of Motor Vehicles to test fully self-driving vehicles on California roads, faces questions and concerns galore as it prepares to roll out the cars in Silicon Valley.
The head of Alphabet Inc’s autonomous vehicle unit gave a cautious outlook for the nascent industry on Nov 13, saying the technology won’t be ubiquitous for decades and that driverless vehicles will always have constraints.
Honda Motor Co and Waymo, the self-driving car unit of Alphabet Inc, were nearing a deal to jointly develop autonomous vehicles earlier this year when the Japanese company walked away, according to people familiar with the matter.
In the race to build safe and affordable driverless vehicles, being first to deliver isn’t fetching a premium from investors.
Google's Waymo, Uber and carmakers GM and Mercedes-Benz are among the companies working to put driverless vehicles in showrooms. That competition also should help lower prices that can reach US$75,000 (RM310,807) apiece for the sensors that scan a car's surrounding environment so it knows how to drive itself.
British manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover is now looking seriously at how much pedestrians actually trust self-driving vehicles by studying the behaviour of people around autonomous cars.
Chen Dan had doubts about betting millions of dollars to make high definition maps of Chinese roads. That was until she took charge of the business at NavInfo Co and saw how they are essential to self-driving cars, with demand that could reach into the billions.
To find a prism into how cities and suburbs will evolve in coming years and decades, look no further than the lowly curb.