Google has announced its self-driving car unit as a separate entity called Waymo; headed by ex-Hyundai North America exec John Krafcik
American tech giant Google has announced its self-driving car company called Waymo. The company will work as a separate entity and it is headed by John Krafcik. The Waymo team has already conducted tests of its first autonomous cars on public roads in Austin last year. It is expected to develop the technology and driver-less cars even faster now.
The Waymo autonomous car was tested with Steve Mahan on board, who is a legally blind friend of the company’s principal engineer Nathaniel Fairfield. Earlier also he had ridden in Google test vehicles, but he was always accompanied and escorted by police. This time, Mahan rode the vehicle solo. Interesting fact was that, this car had no steering wheel and no pedals.
Google has been spending time and resources on technology development for its self-driving car project for quite some time. But now, it seems to be ready to evolve into a commercially viable service provider. In an attempt to do so, Google has hired ex-Hyundai North America executive John Krafcik as the CEO of Waymo. It has appointed ex-Airbnb and TripAdvisor executive Shaun Stewart as well.
Google X and now the Waymo have done a lot of autonomous driving and testing. But the company’s head of self-driving tech Mr. Dmitri Dolgov says, there’s still lot to work on. The map and navigation needs more improvement. The ride quality also needs to be more improved.
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Waymo is presently developing its fleet of self driving cars. In partnership with Fiat Chrysler, the company is readying 100 cars for road tests. Several automakers and tech firms around the world are presently working on self-driving vehicles. Such a large tech firm like Google’s venturing into the autonomous car program will surely boost the drive.