Throughout both the tech and automotive industries, there exists considerable excitement regarding the possibilities of autonomous driving. The technology itself exists in all but finished form; the main challenge remaining for its biggest proponents is to facilitate the creation of the infrastructure necessary to maintain such vehicles' consistent, safe and efficient functionality.
With that being said, two recent developments in the autonomous driving field represent the differences of opinion regarding how close the technology is to being a regular sight on highways all over the world. If your organization operates directly within or in association with this industry, these matters may have considerable bearing on your operations for 2019 and beyond.
Lyft partnering with Waymo in self-driving rideshare initiative
As a subsidiary of Google's parent company Alphabet, Waymo has plenty of resources to bring to bear in its efforts to establish itself as one of the biggest players in the autonomous vehicle landscape. The organization's recent partnership with Lyft to provide the rideshare app's users with self-driving vans, as reported by CNBC, represents Waymo's latest move to grab a large market share in advance.
The news provider pointed out that the prototypical service will only be available to certain Lyft customers based in Chandler, Arizona, at least for the time being. Waymo is deploying self-driving minivans for this purpose – no more than 10 of them at present. The vehicles will also be subject to geofencing restrictions that prevent them from leaving the pilot-program area. Lyft competitors like Uber and General Motors' Cruise have their own autonomous programs in play, but aren't quite as far along.
Skepticism from certain quarters
Not all major players in the tech and automotive industries are as bullish on autonomous driving's readiness as Waymo, Lyft and Uber. While Apple recently acquired staff and self-driving vehicles from failed startup Drive.ai, according to Fortune magazine, some view this as a bet-hedging move, because the tech giant already downsized its previous autonomous-vehicle initiative, Project Titan.
While driverless cars may have a way to go before they're a regular reality, it's still wise to be involved with the field if it makes sense for your organization. This requires strong leadership from experienced, open-minded executives, which YES Partners is ready to help you locate. To see some of the roles we have already successfully placed, click here.
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