Waymo boss says driverless development harder than “launching a rocket and putting it in orbit”

The CEO of Google’s Waymo driverless car project has admitted that rolling out fully driverless cars is “an extraordinary grind”.

John Krafcik told the Financial Times, “I would say it’s a bigger challenge than launching a rocket and putting it in orbit around the Earth . . . because it has to be done safely over and over and over again.”

The feature points out that less than three years ago the company was forecasting it’d have up to 20,000 electric Jaguars and 62,000 Chrysler minivans in its fleet, but today it’s official fleet size is 600.

He told the FT that in 2015 they thought they’d have a broadly available service by 2020 and that wasn’t a crazy thought, but it was a position not of ignorance but “lack of experience”.

The report says that Waymo is now looking to focus on providing an operating system for driverless vehicles which could have multiple revenue streams such as ride hailing and freight and that Krafcik remains adamant the technology will disrupt personal car ownership in time and that children born today will not need to learn to drive.

(Picture – Waymo press library)


Related Stories


All the latest highways news direct to your inbox every week day

Subscribe now