Waymo One’s Transition to Full Autonomy Only Confirms Uncertain Future for Self-Driving Cars – The Detroit Bureau | CarTailz

Five years ago at the Consumer Electronics Show Las Vegas was all about autonomous vehicles. Several major automakers made presentations to journalists in which they predicted their brands would offer self-driving vehicles by the 2021 or 2022 model years. As prototypes were tested, the news was that production was not far off.

Waymo launched its Waymo One autonomous service in Phoenix with the Jaguar I-Pace.

Apparently that hasn’t happened — at least not yet.

The auto industry reportedly spent $16 billion on driverless technology in 2020, and this year that number has jumped to $100 billion to realize the dream of a driverless car. But despite all these investments, the self-driving car seems further away than it was half a decade ago.

Collisions involving self-driving technology are shaking consumer confidence, even as the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) says owners are overestimating how self-driving their vehicles really are. Corresponding a report in the AutoblogIndustry analysts are questioning the value and valuation of autonomous technology companies, saying, “These companies have wasted tens of billions of dollars.”

With this in mind, automakers and self-driving tech companies are taking a close look at their autonomous efforts and making changes to their business plans. Ford just dropped its partnership with Argo AI and Volkswagen, working toward level 4 autonomous driving. It did this to make its own Level 2 driver assistance technology more viable.

Waymo drivers and Via-Tech
Waymo’s autonomous services represent one side of the autonomous driving technology controversy.

Ford CEO Farley said the company has yet to develop a profitable business model for Level 4 technology, although Argo AI has expanded its driverless vehicle testing to other cities early this year. fords Partnership with Mobileye however, driver assistance technology seems to be developing further. Volkswagen also switched to a partnership with Israeli company Mobileye.

Waymo leads the way

However, the dream of the self-driving car is not dead. Google’s Waymo project launched offers its autonomous ride-hailing service in Phoenix, Arizona. The service uses modified Jaguar I-Pace SUVs and customers can request a self-driving ride using the Waymo app. The app is available in the Apple App Store and via Google Play.

Argo expands into two new markets
Argo AI expanded into new markets earlier this year; However, Ford ended its stake in the company, seeing no path to profitability.

According to Waymo’s Robotaxi website, “With millions of miles driven through countless situations on public roads and billions more in simulations, we’ve accumulated incredible amounts of data and invaluable lessons to advance autonomous driving technology further than anyone else.” .”

The company has also expressed an interest in offering similar ride-hailing services in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Its technology has been tested in 13 different states. However, state laws and regulations are inconsistent when it comes to self-driving vehicle requirements and approvals.

Other players still in the game

General Motors has expanded its Super Cruise driver assistance technologyAdding more roads to the system’s known map, but it is The self-driving cruise project faced challenges. The project’s cloud-based operating system went down in San Francisco, blocking vehicles and conventional traffic in a portion of downtown for a few hours.

Cruise SF traffic jam one
Tesla isn’t the only company struggling with its autonomous technologies, as GM subsidiary Cruise recently closed several streets in San Francisco.

Apple’s Project Titan had its own bumps in the road, with failures to keep vehicles in their lanes and problems detecting pedestrians. The company recently brought development talent from Lamborghini to get the project back on track.

Ride-along service Lyft is continuing its project to provide robo-cab services in Las Vegas with a tech company Motional provision of autonomy. Motional itself is a Hyundai and Delphi spin-off Aptiv.

Volvo is also leading the way with its unattended autonomous driving feature known as Ride Pilot. The company plans to roll out the feature to customers in the state of California first. Once verified as safe for highway use, Ride Pilot will be available as an add-on subscription for the company forthcoming all-electric SUV EX90. It is extremely unlikely that Volvo, a company built on a reputation for safety, would risk its credibility for an unproven system.

Finally, Tesla has continued to promote its Autopilot system and Full Self-Driving program, even as State control is increasing. Outside critics have too pointed out defects In the California-based company’s autonomous performance, it found in multiple tests that Tesla vehicles with FSD didn’t stop when child-sized crash test dummies crossed in front of them.

Currently, no automaker is completely abandoning research and development for self-driving vehicles, but executives clearly see spending increasing and are asking pointed questions about the return on that investment.

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