Humble Brag or Majestic Wisdom: The Waymo Method of Dealing with Pesky Tesla

January 27, 2021

John Krafcik (a Googler) is the head of Waymo. That’s a name which means one get “way more” than from any other outfit. Get it? Cool?

Waymo CEO Dismisses Tesla Self Driving Plan: This Is Not How It Works” contains some interesting and allegedly true factoids. I found this passage thought provoking:

Waymo CEO John Krafcik dismissed Tesla as a Waymo competitor and argued that Tesla’s current strategy was unlikely to ever produce a fully self-driving system. “For us, Tesla is not a competitor at all,” Krafcik said. “We manufacture a completely autonomous driving system. Tesla is an automaker that is developing a really good driver assistance system.”

Furthermore, the Google Waymo entity “rejected Tesla’ strategy years ago.” The GOOG approach? This is a characterization:

They [the Waymo experts who deliver way more] focused on building a self-driving taxi service that would never have customers in the driver’s seat…

Both approaches are interesting, but perhaps a more pragmatic approach would be to design roads that reduce the need to create really smart software. Leave a special road, and the humanoid takes over driving chores. One Highway 101, kick back and let Tesla and Waymo deliver way more than some drivers expect.

Way more than stock lift, and Google’s need to declare quantum supremacy and its greatness again an again. But, on the other hand, it’s just a down-home, mom-and-pop operation with a love for advertising and self promotion.

Stephen E Arnold, January 27, 2021

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