Self-Driving Technology: Waymo Launches Robotaxi Testing in Atlanta

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Waymo, the self-driving company under Alphabet, began testing its robotaxis in Atlanta on Tuesday, adding another city to its ever-expanding testing and deployment domain. Read about our cross-country training program:… — Waymo (@Waymo) April 16, 2024Like many other states, Georgia’s regulation of AVs is almost nonexistent, meaning Waymo can technically drop fully autonomous vehicles on the streets today without a safety driver, provided it meets the state’s minimal risk conditions. Earlier this month, Waymo began mapping Washington, D.C., and in November 2023, the company began winter testing robotaxis in Buffalo. In March, California regulators approved Waymo to grow its commercial robotaxi service across the San Francisco peninsula and on San Francisco freeways, which unlocks a route to San Francisco International Airport. A Waymo robotaxi also hit and killed a dog in June 2023.

Possible options: 1. The Threat to Tesla’s Dominance: An Affordable Electric Vehicle is Key 2. Tesla’s Competitive Edge in Jeopardy Without a Budget-Friendly EV 3. Will Tesla’s Reign End Without an Affordable Electric Car? 4. The Importance of an Economical EV

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Elon Musk’s decision to green light a robotaxi over an affordable EV might cost the company its lead. Last week, Musk reportedly canned the effort in favor of a robotaxi, the sort of pie-in-the-sky project that defined his first decade at the helm. Tesla was reportedly on the cusp of building a $25,000 EV. Given flagging sales of the company’s existing product line, it would have been a welcome shot in the arm. It also would have given the company a product to hold its ground against a predicted onslaught of inexpensive Chinese EVs.

TechCrunch’s Mobility Report: Apple Job Cuts, EV Pricing Analysis, and Tesla’s Continued Promises of Robotaxis

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TechCrunch Mobility: Apple layoffs, an EV price reckoning and another Tesla robotaxi promise Plus, more Fisker problems and a Waymo-Uber Eats tie-upWelcome back to TechCrunch Mobility — your central hub for news and insights on the future of transportation. The average price of an EV in 2023 was $61,702, while all other vehicles stood at $47,450. This downward pressure has forced automakers like Ford to delay future EV launches and put more resources toward hybrids. Even Tesla, a bellwether in the EV world, fell well below analysts’ expectations with deliveries down 20% from Q4 2023. What vehicles — including the two-wheeled variety — are you interested in reading about?

th Elon Musk Reveals Plans for Tesla Robotaxi Debut on August 8th

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Hours later, Musk posted on X that a “Tesla Robotaxi” will be unveiled August 8. Tesla Robotaxi unveil on 8/8 — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 5, 2024Reports have swirled for years that Tesla was working on these two vehicles. Musk has been promising autonomous capabilities in Tesla vehicles for years. Tesla vehicles come standard with a driver-assistance system branded as Autopilot. Tesla vehicles are not self-driving.

Austin to experience Waymo’s revolutionary robotaxi service before the year’s end

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Waymo will begin offering a robotaxi service to the public in Los Angeles this week and in Austin by the end of the year, the company’s co-CEO Tekedra Mawakan said Wednesday at SXSW. Opening up a robotaxi service means the public will be able to hail a ride in a driverless car via the Waymo One app. Austin will become the fourth city where Waymo operates a commercial driverless service. Waymo also operates a robotaxi service in Phoenix, San Francisco and soon Los Angeles. Unlike Texas, regulators in California require companies hoping to deploy commercial robotaxi services to attain a number of permits.

“Major Accomplishments and Setbacks in the World of Automated Vehicles: Waymo Secures Vital Robotaxi License, Fisker Implements Additional Layoffs, and Hopes for Apple Car Diminish”

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I was in Los Angeles earlier this week where I interviewed Waymo co-CEO Tekedra Mawakana on stage at our StrictlyVC LA event. The approval removes the last barrier for the Alphabet company to charge for rides in these expanded areas. Yup, that’s right the Apple ended plans to build and sell an autonomous electric car. Electric vehicles, batteries & chargingXiaomi showed off its first electric car, the SU7, at Mobile World Congress. I’ve taken numerous rides in Waymo robotaxis, but never one in Los Angeles.

Waymo Begins Charging for Robotaxi Rides on LA and San Francisco Freeways

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Waymo received approval Friday afternoon from the California Public Utilities Commission to operate a commercial robotaxi service in Los Angeles, the San Francisco Peninsula and on San Francisco freeways. Importantly, it opens up new territory for Waymo in one of the country’s largest cities and unlocks a route to the San Francisco Airport. Waymo has operated a commercial service 24 hours a day, seven days a week throughout the city of San Francisco since receiving approval from the commission in August. Waymo is also allowed to give people free driverless rides in parts of Los Angeles. Until today’s approval, it was not able to charge for rides in Los Angeles.

Motional, Backed by Hyundai, Trims Workforce by 5% in Pursuit of Autonomous Future

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Motional, the autonomous vehicle company borne out of a joint venture between Hyundai Moor Group and Aptiv, told employees Wednesday it will cut about 5% of its workforce, TechCrunch has learned. The autonomous vehicle company last had layoffs in December 2022, when it cut about 10% of its workforce. Motional operates an autonomous vehicle taxi service in Las Vegas (still with human safety operators behind the wheel) on Uber, Lyft and Via platforms. A production-ready autonomous vehicle, equipped with the kind of redundancies designed for safe operations without a human driver, is a critical milestone required for commercial operations. During CES 2024, the company announced plans to work with Kia on a next-generation vehicle that will enter commercial operations later this decade.

Regulators Put a Halt to Waymo’s Plans for Expanding Robotaxi Operations in California

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Waymo’s application to expand its robotaxi service in Los Angeles and San Mateo counties has been suspended for 120 days by the California Public Utilities Commission’s Consumer Protection and Enforcement Division. The decision doesn’t change Waymo’s ability to commercially operate driverless vehicles in San Francisco. However, it does put an abrupt halt to the company’s aspirations to expand where it can operate — at least until June 2024. The CPED said on its website that the application has been suspended for further staff review. San Mateo County Board of Supervisors Vice President David J. Canepa issued a statement following the ruling.

Cruise unveils government investigations and internal report on pedestrian collision

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Cruise lost the permits it needed to operate commercially in the state of California and has since grounded its fleet elsewhere. Problems with Cruise began almost immediately after the company received the last remaining permit required to operate its robotaxi service commercially throughout San Francisco. On that day, a pedestrian crossing a street in San Francisco was initially hit by a human-driven car and landed in the path of a Cruise robotaxi and run over. Even after obtaining the Full Video, Cruise did not correct the public narrative but continued instead to share incomplete facts and video about the Accident with the media and the public. This conduct has caused both regulators and the media to accuse Cruise of misleading them.”This story is developing …