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Old 10-13-2020, 06:50 AM   #1
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Default The World’s First Fully Driverless Vehicle Ready To Hit The Roads

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The World’s First Fully Driverless Vehicle Ready To Hit The Roads

Waymo just announced its plans to deploy vehicles without backup safety drivers, making a major milestone in a sector that has witnessed many ups and downs and stops and starts. The company, the self-driving unit of Google’s parent Alphabet, said it will soon expand its driverless ride-hailing service to include the general public in Phoenix, Arizona.

“Beginning today, October 8, we’re excited to open up our fully driverless offering to Waymo One riders. Members of the public service can now take friends and family along on their rides and share their experience with the world,” the company said in a blog post.

For now, Waymo’s service will still be limited to Phoenix, but the company hopes for that to change in the future. Waymo, and other autonomous vehicle developers, chose Arizona for testing due to an apparent lack of restrictions and regulatory hurdles.

Still, offering rides to all customers is a huge advantage over its competitors. Being first always helps with reputation - and revenue. Waymo’s competitors are still in the testing phase.

The company’s CEO John Krafcik said in a statement that Waymo is looking for the opportunity to bring its driverless services to the company's home state of California next.

Waymo started its driverless car development in 2017.

The following year, the company joined with carmaker Jaguar and announced a deal that included up to 20,000 Jaguar I-PACE electric vehicles in its upcoming autonomous fleet.

The partnership, worth up to $1.5 billion, is a further mark of Waymo’s ambition in the race against time to beat Uber to the definitive self-driving finish line for a driverless ride-hailing service. Jaguars are set to join the Chrysler Pacifica, which has already been used extensively in testing for the company’s autonomous driving technologies.

Waymo had previously said it was discussing collaboration with Honda; however, that relationship failed to blossom and Honda recently declared its intention to bring its own fully autonomous vehicle to the market by 2025.

Waymo is competing with several other players to deploy such vehicles for the masses, but it’s not as easy as they all thought it would be years ago. Pandemic also slowed down the progress.

Ford is also collaborating with Germany’s Volkswagen and Argo AI to introduce autonomous vehicle technology in the U.S. and Europe. Due to the pandemic, Ford said it will delay its launch plans until 2022.

Another of Detroit’s Big Three, General Motors, unveiled its first driverless vehicle in January and announced it would start delivering the first vehicle in the next five years.

Last September, Hyundai said that it would form a $4-billion joint venture with Aptiv to advance the development of production-ready autonomous driving systems. The company announced it would start mass production of driverless cars in 2024.

As for Uber, sued by Waymo for stealing its trade secrets and settled for $245 million, it’s self-driving division, Advanced Technologies Group (ATG), has had a tough time since a fatal crash involving one of its self-driving cars in 2019.
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Old 10-13-2020, 10:11 AM   #2
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That's cool especially with these new normals, no driver means less chance for illness transmission for folks that want to minimize interaction.

Some drivers talk too much anyway.. I use to take taxi's and rideshare all the time to the airport and back before the pandemic for business travel. I much rather ride an autonomous taxi solo.
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Old 10-13-2020, 11:04 AM   #3
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I hope this driverless concept is a success for Waymo. They seem to have done the engineering, testing, and development correctly.

*Looks at California*

Have fun making contracted drivers employees. Soon enough, there won't be a need for drivers and those who signed up to drive with Uber / Lyft for supplemental income or a side hustle wont have that option.
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Old 10-13-2020, 11:56 AM   #4
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Yeah, maybe for those that need a hand getting in and out of a car due to back injury or whatever might need that human assistance, but soon enough all that will be history.

I wonder how food delivery will be done with robots especially in high rises. Robots wirelessly pushing the floor button and all.
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Old 10-14-2020, 11:49 PM   #5
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That's cool especially with these new normals, no driver means less chance for illness transmission for folks that want to minimize interaction.

Some drivers talk too much anyway.. I use to take taxi's and rideshare all the time to the airport and back before the pandemic for business travel. I much rather ride an autonomous taxi solo.
At least now we will know that the car was never cleaned between customer vomits and pickups...
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Old 10-15-2020, 02:55 AM   #6
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Yeah, maybe for those that need a hand getting in and out of a car due to back injury or whatever might need that human assistance, but soon enough all that will be history.....



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Old 10-15-2020, 07:35 AM   #7
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Yeah, maybe for those that need a hand getting in and out of a car due to back injury or whatever might need that human assistance, but soon enough all that will be history.

I wonder how food delivery will be done with robots especially in high rises. Robots wirelessly pushing the floor button and all.
We live in an area approved for drone delivery. Still haven’t seen one yet.
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Old 10-15-2020, 08:35 AM   #8
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Here's the thing.

At what volume do they need for this to be cost competitive with a gig worker driving Uber with his Corolla? There's so much up front R&D and ongoing (maintaining HD maps) costs, it will be years. I bet they loose tons of money on every drive. That's fine when you're playing the "it's not how much money you make, it's what you're worth" silicon valley game, but there are limits to that.

My prediction is that Waymo will be the Betamax of autonomous driving.
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Old 10-15-2020, 08:37 AM   #9
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Old 10-15-2020, 04:01 PM   #10
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Here's the thing.

At what volume do they need for this to be cost competitive with a gig worker driving Uber with his Corolla? There's so much up front R&D and ongoing (maintaining HD maps) costs, it will be years. I bet they loose tons of money on every drive. That's fine when you're playing the "it's not how much money you make, it's what you're worth" silicon valley game, but there are limits to that.

My prediction is that Waymo will be the Betamax of autonomous driving.
The amount of liability drops when you take out the human component (lawsuits, insurance, etc.); dealing with employment law hurdles; finding people to drive; paying people to drive; managing humans; etc.
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Old 10-15-2020, 04:34 PM   #11
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yeah but look at Uber's business model. They don't own cars. Much of the insurance burden is on the driver. They pay people as contractors (a controversial issue we can set aside for now). They have marketing costs but marketing can be cut. I bet liability insurance is higher for Waymo than it is for Uber due to the unknowns of robo Taxis.

Now for Waymo, for now they retrofit Chrysler vans, which I'm sure don't cost much, with what, 10s of thousands of dollars worth of equipment? And then they've gotta have technicians to maintain all that, and engineers monitoring the fleet. They will eventually make their own fleet. Then how much are they charging vs an Uber-XL? They're probably subsidizing the rides, not bearing the cost (just like Uber does).

The only way that business model works is if they license the technology or if they get such a huge scale the costs go down, or if they plan to get bought out/spun off. It's the same problem Uber and Lyft have, but with what appears to me as a much more expensive cost structure in the near to mid term future.

This is part of why Ford and GM dumped their ride sharing experiments. Google/Alphabet will keep dumping money into Waymo as long as times are good, but it's not sustainable as anything but a potential acquisition.

Only company that could make money doing robo taxi would be Tesla, but there's no evidence their system will be capable of deploying (in limited areas) any time soon.
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Old 10-15-2020, 05:04 PM   #12
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According to google, each Driver averages a cost of $45K to Uber. That includes the fees paid to the driver, IT costs, and general expense.

If the vehicles cost them less than $50K, then the ROI would happen in less than 2 years, even with a tech and maintenance cost as long as they are reliable.
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Old 10-17-2020, 11:42 AM   #13
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yeah but look at Uber's business model. They don't own cars. Much of the insurance burden is on the driver. They pay people as contractors (a controversial issue we can set aside for now). They have marketing costs but marketing can be cut. I bet liability insurance is higher for Waymo than it is for Uber due to the unknowns of robo Taxis.

Now for Waymo, for now they retrofit Chrysler vans, which I'm sure don't cost much, with what, 10s of thousands of dollars worth of equipment? And then they've gotta have technicians to maintain all that, and engineers monitoring the fleet. They will eventually make their own fleet. Then how much are they charging vs an Uber-XL? They're probably subsidizing the rides, not bearing the cost (just like Uber does).

The only way that business model works is if they license the technology or if they get such a huge scale the costs go down, or if they plan to get bought out/spun off. It's the same problem Uber and Lyft have, but with what appears to me as a much more expensive cost structure in the near to mid term future.

This is part of why Ford and GM dumped their ride sharing experiments. Google/Alphabet will keep dumping money into Waymo as long as times are good, but it's not sustainable as anything but a potential acquisition.

Only company that could make money doing robo taxi would be Tesla, but there's no evidence their system will be capable of deploying (in limited areas) any time soon.
Potential acquisition? I’m pretty sure Google / Alphabet is the parent company of Waymo. Ford and GM do not have the capital resources that Waymo has for developing self driving. And no, this does not have to be an acquisition company (it won’t be due to the parent company at) but will be a licensed technology to auto manufacturers to incorporate into their vehicles.

If Uber / Lyft has autonomous vehicles and not contracted drivers, the ROI for a full fleet of EV would be recognized within several years. Here is the other huge aspect your completely missing from the business model. Advertisement. Alphabet / google is a marketing machine. Put someone in a driverless car with some sort of screen display with targeted advertisement (doesn’t need to be audible) and the revenue along with profit will be insane.
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Old 10-17-2020, 03:54 PM   #14
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Put someone in a driverless car with some sort of screen display with targeted advertisement (doesn’t need to be audible) and the revenue along with profit will be insane.
Can we not push further into the fat people of Wall-E please...
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Old 10-17-2020, 05:21 PM   #15
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Can we not push further into the fat people of Wall-E please...
I mean, it’s no different than an advertisement coming over the radio while you’re driving.
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Old 10-18-2020, 02:51 AM   #16
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That's cool especially with these new normals, no driver means less chance for illness transmission for folks that want to minimize interaction.

Some drivers talk too much anyway.. I use to take taxi's and rideshare all the time to the airport and back before the pandemic for business travel. I much rather ride an autonomous taxi solo.
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I hope this driverless concept is a success for Waymo. They seem to have done the engineering, testing, and development correctly.

*Looks at California*

Have fun making contracted drivers employees. Soon enough, there won't be a need for drivers and those who signed up to drive with Uber / Lyft for supplemental income or a side hustle wont have that option.
I hope you guys are being facetious and I'm just not catching it, because driverless cars is the biggest threat to "fun" cars and driving there is.
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Old 10-18-2020, 02:07 PM   #17
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At least now we will know that the car was never cleaned between customer vomits and pickups...

Maybe they'll have a Roomba built into the passenger area to clean it up every time someone vomits. Sort of like how Roombas work with dog poop:

https://www.theguardian.com/technolo...-facebook-post
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Old 10-18-2020, 02:12 PM   #18
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I hope you guys are being facetious and I'm just not catching it, because driverless cars is the biggest threat to "fun" cars and driving there is.

Mobile automated pilons probably aren't occupying the left hand lane like the current mobile pilons known as Toyota (non FRS/Supra) drivers do. Also given the AI's algorithm to focus on safety to mitigate corporate liability, you know exactly what's going to happen if you need to cut in front of their lane (in emergencies only....of course)- they will let you in.

Automated pilons only work when everyone is an automated pilon. If you have human piloted cars, not sure the automated pilons work very well in real life.
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Old 10-18-2020, 02:30 PM   #19
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I hope you guys are being facetious and I'm just not catching it, because driverless cars is the biggest threat to "fun" cars and driving there is.
I honestly don't care because I won't be around forever. My guess is that we have another 10 years to buy cool gasoline cars (even perhaps with MT).. after that who cares. Just keep the cars you like. Young folks don't even have interest.
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Old 10-18-2020, 04:48 PM   #20
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I honestly don't care because I won't be around forever. My guess is that we have another 10 years to buy cool gasoline cars (even perhaps with MT).. after that who cares. Just keep the cars you like. Young folks don't even have interest.
That is horse****. Such a bull**** privileged opinion. Yeah, young people don't want to spend half a house on a fun car, but there are plenty out there who if they could afford the exorbitant prices for even used enthusiast cars, not to mention new enthusiast cars, then the market would be plenty healthy. Now Hondas, Miatas, E36s/46s, 350z/G35s, and BRZs are the only affordable (in terms of buy in and cost to make fun) options out there, and it's not long before we can cross the BMWs off that list as well. When I bought my first 240 almost a decade ago, there were so many platforms that you could get into for less than 5k. Z cars, rotaries, old toyotas, hondas. The issue is that regulations made it expensive to make these cars as manufacturers had to consolidate resources instead of being able to just make bespoke platforms for sportscars, trucks, or economy cars. CAFE and crash standards killed the enthusiast market, not kids.
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Old 10-18-2020, 06:59 PM   #21
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I hope you guys are being facetious and I'm just not catching it, because driverless cars is the biggest threat to "fun" cars and driving there is.
No, I hope they are a success. I think “fun cars” will be around well after I’m dead (I’m 33) but I absolutely would buy an autonomous vehicle once they prove to be safe and mainstream. Caveat to that is I must be able to do work while the vehicle is in motion, take a nap, etc. If I have to remain attentive at all times, I’m out and will continue to drive personally.

It would be amazing if I could put my dog in the car and send her to doggy day care and have the vehicle return to back to me, go pick up curb side groceries, laundry, etc.

“Fun” cars will continue being produced as long as there is a market demand for them and I don’t see that market going away in the next 50-100 years. They might be EV only in that time span but only autonomous? Not a chance.
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Old 10-18-2020, 07:09 PM   #22
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That is horse****. Such a bull**** privileged opinion. Yeah, young people don't want to spend half a house on a fun car
So stop. No one is forcing you to join. Enjoy your life how you want to.
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Old 10-19-2020, 09:50 AM   #23
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That is horse****. Such a bull**** privileged opinion. Yeah, young people don't want to spend half a house on a fun car, but there are plenty out there who if they could afford the exorbitant prices for even used enthusiast cars, not to mention new enthusiast cars, then the market would be plenty healthy. Now Hondas, Miatas, E36s/46s, 350z/G35s, and BRZs are the only affordable (in terms of buy in and cost to make fun) options out there, and it's not long before we can cross the BMWs off that list as well. When I bought my first 240 almost a decade ago, there were so many platforms that you could get into for less than 5k. Z cars, rotaries, old toyotas, hondas. The issue is that regulations made it expensive to make these cars as manufacturers had to consolidate resources instead of being able to just make bespoke platforms for sportscars, trucks, or economy cars. CAFE and crash standards killed the enthusiast market, not kids.
While the Highlighted section definitely played a part in this, there is plenty of data showing that the latest generation's interest in automobiles in general, much less the performance of said vehicles has dropped significantly. When I use to run the data group for a certain large automotive group, the marketing surveys said it all.

The vast majority of people under the age of 30 were more concerned about features such as Bluetooth, infotainment systems, and Advance Cruise Control, than anything performance related. heck most put those ahead of safety and economy. One glaring item on the surveys was that many wanted a new phone or high end PC before car ownership.

We sent one survey out to over 10K people, and not one response requested a manual transmission. Both new and Use car sales reflects this as well.

It warms my heart hearing that there is still pockets of enthusiast in up and coming driving generations, but I feel it's a dying breed
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Old 10-19-2020, 01:47 PM   #24
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No, I hope they are a success. I think “fun cars” will be around well after I’m dead (I’m 33) but I absolutely would buy an autonomous vehicle once they prove to be safe and mainstream. Caveat to that is I must be able to do work while the vehicle is in motion, take a nap, etc. If I have to remain attentive at all times, I’m out and will continue to drive personally.

It would be amazing if I could put my dog in the car and send her to doggy day care and have the vehicle return to back to me, go pick up curb side groceries, laundry, etc.

“Fun” cars will continue being produced as long as there is a market demand for them and I don’t see that market going away in the next 50-100 years. They might be EV only in that time span but only autonomous? Not a chance.

Here is an interesting video on how technology advances and some predictions about full autonomy
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Old 10-19-2020, 06:54 PM   #25
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I think sooner rather than later the only way to get some of those fun combinations enthusiasts love will be to build them in a kit car.
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