Google’s driverless car division has announced a further US$2.5 billion (£1.8 billion) of investment.
In a blog post, co-CEOs Tekedra Mawakana and Dmitri Dolgov say they’ll use this latest round of investment to “continue advancing the Waymo Driver, as well as continuing to grow our team.
“With tens of millions of miles driven on public roads across 25 U.S. cities, and tens of billions of miles driven in simulation, our experience has shown us, and our investors, the massive opportunity ahead. We’re building and deploying the Waymo Driver to serve riders, deliver parcels, move freight, and eventually, to empower personal car ownership,” they write.
They point out they’re the first company to operate a fully autonomous, public ride-hailing service – Waymo One, and have served thousands of rider-only trips in Metro Phoenix, while the delivery business unit, Waymo Via is working with freight partners, including J.B. Hunt, to efficiently move freight cross-country with our growing fleet of Class 8 trucks. “On a local level, Waymo Via delivers safely and efficiently on behalf of our clients, including UPS and AutoNation,” they write.
The post concludes, “Experience has taught us so much, and we agree with those experts who say there’s no greater challenge in artificial intelligence than building and deploying fully autonomous technology at scale. But we love a challenge and – thanks to the unmatched talent of our team – the Waymo Driver is already serving thousands of Waymo One riders as they get to work, shop for groceries, bring their kids to school, or just experience the joy of a ride with no human behind the wheel. Our mission is to make it safe and easy for people and things to get where they’re going, and we’re grateful to our investors for believing in this mission, in our technology, and in us.”
(Picture – Waymo)