...out onto the streets of SF---without gasoline and without anyone at the wheel,” Cruise CEO Dan Ammann wrote in a Medium post. “Because safely removing the driver is the true benchmark of a self-driving car, and because burning fossil fuels is no way to build the future of transportation.”
Waymo also recently announced plans to expand the availability of its ride-hailing service to the public around its testing area in Arizona. The California-based tech firm owned by Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc., is generally considered a pace-setter in the driverless vehicle space. It’s been using a 100-square mile area in Phoenix as its testing site since 2016.
“We’re just ready from every standpoint,” Waymo CEO John Krafcik told TechCrunch about launching driverless ride-hailing cars.
But for now, even Waymo cars with the technology to operate without a human will host trained operators.
“We’ve had our wonderful group of early riders who’ve helped us hone the service, obviously not from a safety standpoint, because we’ve had the confidence on the safety side for some time, but rather more for the fit of the product itself.”
And while Krafcik appears to have the confidence of a polar bear in a snowstorm regarding the readiness of his company’s technology, neither society nor the risk-averse insurance industry seems ready to completely embrace the idea of robotic cars and trucks on the roads.
Consider this comment to the most recent Waymo news by a TechCrunch reader: “Bad product. Been ‘sharing’ the road with these moronic vehicles since they got here. You would have to be an idiot to get in one of these without a safety driver.”
Waymo, which declined to provide an interview for this story, also appears to be working overtime to dissuade suspicion...