Waymo showed off its technology to reporters at its California testing facility. The company had invited dozens of reporters to its testing facility at a decommissioned Air Force base where they were taken on an approximately 10-minute, two-mile drive in the company’s completely driverless vehicle.
In the interaction with the reporters John Krafcik, CEO, Waymo told that the company is very excited to be at the place it is right now and it is “very close” to getting fully driverless cars on the roads. He also told he doesn’t see his company as a “disrupter” but as an “enabler”.
Waymo has got into partnerships with many companies like Lyft, Ford, Avis etc and is pursuing many opportunities from ride-hailing, trucking to “last mile” connections but the company has not made it clear till now that how and when it is going to roll out its technology commercially in a product the public.
The company has as of now kept itself confined to Level 4 autonomy where a car can drive itself without driver inputs but within a somewhat controlled environment, but the company is hoping to develop level 5 autonomy so any car equipped with it can travel anywhere without any limitation in the real unrestricted environment.
Waymo had recently launched an Ad campaign called “Let’s talk driving” to promote self-driving vehicle and now this exercise with reporters is directed to make people more aware of autonomous cars and increase its acceptability among the general public. It is also offering fully autonomous rides in Chandler, Arizona, and near Phoenix as part of a test of its systems.