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Waymo shelves self-driving commercial trucking operations in favor of taxi cab business

Waymo One

In a press release today, Waymo co-CEOs Tekedra Mawakana and Dmitri Dolgov shared their new vision and roadmap. They talk about the prospects of rapidly growing capabilities of AI, shifting focus to Waymo One, and partnership with Daimler Truck North America (DTNA).

Waymo opened its driverless cab services in San Francisco less than a year ago, in November 2022, to areas in Daly City, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Mountain Views, Palo Alto, and Sunnyvale. It previously partnered with brands including Renault, Geely, Fiat Chrysler, and Lyft to bring more self-driving taxi cabs to more markets.

Waymo One

Waymo One, its autonomous ride-hailing service, gained significant growth and rider demand in San Francisco, Pheonix and Los Angeles. Waymo says they are developing an AI-based, fully autonomous driver for its services, aptly named Waymo Driver.

Even though Waymo Driver is being designed to be integrated into commercial applications like trucking and deliveries, the CEOs announced trucking operations are being shelved to double down on Waymo One, the ride-hailing service.

In the announcement, they clarify Waymo's platform investment and technical development of an autonomous truck with DTNA will continue to develop the Freightliner Cascadia platform.

The press release also draws attention to the company's near-term goals. It is prioritizing the commercial success of Waymo One. This will set the company on a path of value creation and growth in business.

Waymo is rapidly iterating AI/ML models to improve the Driver, overcoming and reshaping regulatory hurdles to facilitate further growth of its ride-hailing service and provide valuable insights in the long run to partners as well.

While Waymo sees future potential in trucking solutions and continues to develop its Driver capabilities on freeways, it reiterates that a laser focus on Waymo One is the bloodline of the whole company. It is to be noted competition in this space comes from Uber only.

Source: Waymo

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