Bloomberg berichtet lesenswert über eine der Testfamilien in Phoenix, die Waymo im Alltag in einem Test-Programm einsetzen; Ende des Jahres soll Waymos Angebot in Phoenix verfügbar werden:
The Jackson family, along with some 400 neighbors in their Phoenix suburb, are volunteers in an ongoing test of Waymo’s autonomous ride-hailing business, which is expected to launch for paying passengers in the area by the end of the year. The Jacksons, who Waymo made available for this story, have largely ditched their own cars and now use self-driving vehicles to go almost everywhere within the 100 square-mile operating area: track practice, grocery shopping, movies, the train station. […]
Access to robotaxis has even managed to convince this 17-year-old to put off an American rite of passage: getting her driver’s license. As Kyla puts it, “What’s the point?”
Waymos Preise sollen am Anfang sich in den selben Größenordnungen bewegen wie Uber und Lyft.
Waymo fährt in Phoenix mit dessen nachsichtigen Umweltbedingungen sehr gut mittlerweile:
“I can’t think of a time that we’ve ever been honked at.”
Waymo-CEO John Krafcik hat eine gute Metapher für den Waymo-Ansatz der selbstfahrenden Autos gefunden. Autohersteller bauen die Autos, Unternehmen wie Waymo bauen die Fahrer:
[Waymo Chief Executive Officer John Krafcik’s] goal is to build what he calls “the driver,” an integrated suite of hardware and software that makes self-driving possible, and then to put the technology to work across four areas of transportation: ride-hailing services, trucking, personal vehicles, and public transportation. The strategy leans heavily on partnerships, especially for vehicles.
“Car companies make cars, and that’s what they should do,” Krafcik says. “Self-driving companies should make drivers.”
Mittelfristig macht das Waymo, wie zu erwarten war, erst einmal zu einem der größten Kunden der Autohersteller:
Waymo has reached deals to buy as many as 62,000 plug-in hybrid Pacifica minivans and 20,000 fully-electric I-Pace SUVs to build out its fleet over the next few years.
Waymos LKWs werden bereits intern bei Alphabet eingesetzt.
Waymo will seine Technologie auch an Hersteller lizenzieren:
Krafcik says Waymo is also in discussions with “more than 50 percent” of the global auto industry by volume, and the introduction of self-driving cars for personal use will trail its ride-hailing service by “a couple years.”
Last not least, beginnt Waymo diese Woche in Phoenix auch ein Shuttle-Programm für den ÖPNV.
Kommen wir noch einmal zurück zur Testfamilie und dem Stand der Technik:
Once, early on, her car stopped behind a construction container and didn’t know what to do, forcing the backup driver to take over. On her first trip to the mall, she recalls the car taking “the most asinine route” and then driving all around the parking lot. Since then, she says, Waymo has designated drop-offs on the map for major points of interest. […]
Notwendige Kartenanpassungen könnten zu einem First-Mover-Advantage werden.. Weiter:
Kyla is holding out hope that her parents will subsidize her rides. Even if she keeps up her pace of using the car to go to school and work at a burger chain and parties with her friends, the Jacksons all agree that the Waymo is safer than teenage driving—as well as cheaper than owning a car and paying for insurance.
The question then is whether Kyla will get her license at all. She’s in no rush, and her peers seem open to an alternative: “A lot of my friends are like, ‘Oh my gosh, I wish I had a Waymo.’”
Unbedingt den ganzen Artikel lesen, um ein Bild vom aktuellen Stand bei Waymo zu bekommen.