Waymo LLC is a self-driving technology development company. It is a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc. Waymo originated as a project of Google before it became a stand-alone subsidiary in December 2016.

In April 2017, Waymo started a limited trial of a self-driving taxi service in Phoenix, Arizona. On December 5, 2018 the service launched its first commercial self-driving car service called "Waymo One", where users in the Phoenix metropolitan area can use an app to request the service.[2]

Waymo LLC
IndustryAutonomous cars
PredecessorGoogle Self-Driving Car Project
FoundedJanuary 17, 2009 (as the Google Self-Driving Car Project)
December 13, 2016 (as Waymo)
Key people
Waymo Chrysler Pacifica in Los Altos, 2017
Waymo Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid undergoing testing in the San Francisco Bay Area.


Google's development of self-driving technology began in January 17, 2009[3] at the company's secretive X lab run by co-founder Sergey Brin.[4] The project was originally led by Sebastian Thrun, who is the former director of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and co-inventor of Google Street View. Thrun's team at Stanford created the robotic vehicle Stanley, which won the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge and its US$2 million prize from the United States Department of Defense.[5] The team developing the system consisted of 15 engineers working for Google, including Chris Urmson, Dmitri Dolgov, Mike Montemerlo, and Anthony Levandowski who had worked on the DARPA Grand and Urban Challenges.[6][7]

Waymo self-driving car front view.gk
A Waymo self-driving car

Starting in 2010, lawmakers in various states expressed concerns over how to regulate the emerging technology. Nevada passed a law in June 2011 concerning the operation of autonomous cars in Nevada,[8] which went into effect on March 1, 2012.[9] A Toyota Prius modified with Google's experimental driverless technology was licensed by the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in May 2012. This was the first license issue in the United States for a self-driven car.[9]

In late May 2014, Google revealed a new prototype of its driverless car, which had no steering wheel, gas pedal, or brake pedal, being 100% autonomous,[10][11] and unveiled a fully functioning prototype in December of that year that they planned to test on San Francisco Bay Area roads beginning in 2015.[12] Called the Firefly, the car was intended to serve as a platform for experimentation and learning, not mass production.[13]

In 2015, Google provided "the world's first fully driverless ride on public roads" to a legally blind friend of principal engineer Nathaniel Fairfield.[14] The ride was taken by Steve Mahan, former CEO of the Santa Clara Valley Blind Center, in Austin, Texas.[15][16] It was the first driverless ride that was on a public road and was not accompanied by a test driver or police escort. The car had no steering wheel or floor pedals.[17]

In December 2016, the unit was renamed Waymo, and made into its own separate division in Alphabet.[15] The name Waymo is derived from its mission, "a new way forward in mobility".[18] Waymo moved to further test its cars on public roads after becoming its own subsidiary.[19]

In 2017, Waymo sued Uber for allegedly stealing trade secrets.[7] A court filing in lawsuit revealed Google has spent over $1.1 billion on the project between 2009 and 2015, to be compared with the $1 billion acquisition of Cruise Automation by General Motors in March 2016, a similar investment by Ford in a joint venture with Argo AI in February 2017, or the $680 million for Otto's acquisition by Uber in August 2016.[20] Waymo and Uber settled in February 2018, with Uber granting Waymo $245 million worth of Uber stock.[21]

Waymo began testing autonomous minivans without a safety driver on public roads in Chandler, Arizona, in October 2017.[22] The company announced in January 2018 that it would begin its ride-hailing services in the Phoenix, Arizona, area later in the year.[22][23]


Google driverless car at intersection.gk
A self-driving car with the previous Google branding
Google's Lexus RX 450h Self-Driving Car
A Lexus RX450h retrofitted by Google for its self-driving car project

In 2017, Waymo unveiled new sensors and chips that are less expensive to manufacture, cameras that improve visibility, and wipers to clear the lidar system.[24] Waymo manufactures a suite of self-driving hardware developed in-house.[25] These sensors and hardware—enhanced vision system, improved radar, and laser-based lidar—reduce Waymo's dependence on suppliers.[25][19] The in-house production system allows Waymo to efficiently integrate its technology to the hardware.[26] In the beginning of the self-driving car program, the company spent $75,000 for each lidar system from Velodyne.[26] As of 2017, that cost was down approximately 90 percent, due to Waymo designing its own version of lidar.[27]

Waymo officials said the cars the company uses are built for full autonomy with sensors that give 360 degree views and lasers that detect objects up to 300 meters away.[19] Short-range lasers detect and focus on objects near the vehicle, while radar is used to see around vehicles and track objects in motion.[19] The interior of these cars include buttons for riders to control certain functions: "Help", "Lock", "Pull over", and "Start ride".[28]

Waymo engineers have also created a program called Carcraft, a virtual world where Waymo can simulate driving conditions.[29][30] The simulator is named after the video game World of Warcraft.[29][30] With Carcraft, 25,000 virtual self-driving cars navigate through models of Austin, Texas, Mountain View, California, Phoenix, Arizona, and other cities.[29] As of 2018, Waymo has driven more than 5 billion miles in the virtual world.[31]

Waymo has created partnerships with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles,[19] Lyft,[19] AutoNation,[32] Avis,[19] Intel,[33] and Jaguar Land Rover.[34]

The Waymo project team has equipped various types of cars with the self-driving equipment, including the Toyota Prius, Audi TT, Fiat Chrysler Pacifica and Lexus RX450h.[35][36] Google also developed their own custom vehicle, about 100 of which were assembled by Roush Enterprises with equipment from Bosch, ZF Lenksysteme, LG, and Continental.[37][38]

In May 2016, Google and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced an order of 100 Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivans to test the self-driving technology.[39] Waymo ordered an additional 500 Pacifica hybrids in 2017 and in late May 2018, Alphabet announced plans to add up to 62,000 Pacifica Hybrid minivans to the fleet.[40][41] In March 2018, Jaguar Land Rover announced that Waymo had ordered up to 20,000 of its planned electric I-Pace cars, at an estimated cost more than $1 billion.[42][43] Jaguar is to deliver the first I-Pace prototype later in the year, and the cars are to become part of Waymo's ride-hailing service in 2020.[44][45][46]

Waymo partners with Intel to use Intel technologies, such as processors, inside Waymo vehicles.[47] Its deals with Avis and AutoNation are for vehicle maintenance.[32] With Lyft, Waymo is partnering on pilot projects and product development.[48]

Road testing

Jurvetson Google driverless car trimmed
A Toyota Prius modified to operate as a Google driverless car, navigating a test course[49]

As of 2018, Waymo had tested its system in six states and 25 cities across the U.S over a span of more than 9 years.[40][42] Among the first places Google began testing its self-driving cars in 2009 was San Francisco Bay Area.[50] Google's vehicles have traversed San Francisco's Lombard Street, famed for its steep hairpin turns, and through city traffic. The vehicles have driven over the Golden Gate Bridge and around Lake Tahoe.[6] The system drives at the speed limit it has stored on its maps and maintains its distance from other vehicles using its system of sensors.[51] It has since expanded its areas of testing.[40]

In August 2012, the team announced that they had completed over 300,000 autonomous-driving miles (500,000 km) accident-free, typically having about a dozen cars on the road at any given time.[52] Four U.S. states had passed laws permitting autonomous cars as of December 2013: Nevada, Florida, California, and Michigan.[53] A law proposed in Texas would establish criteria for allowing "autonomous motor vehicles".[54][55]

In April 2014, the team announced that their vehicles had logged nearly 700,000 autonomous miles (1.1 million km).[56] In June 2015, the team announced that their vehicles had driven over 1,000,000 mi (1,600,000 km), stating that this was "the equivalent of 75 years of typical U.S. adult driving", and that in the process they had encountered 200,000 stop signs, 600,000 traffic lights, and 180 million other vehicles.[57] Google also announced its prototype vehicles were being road tested in Mountain View, California.[58] During testing, the prototypes' speed did not exceed 25 mph (40 km/h) and had safety drivers aboard the entire time. As a consequence, one of the vehicles was stopped by police for impeding traffic flow.[59]

In 2015, Google expanded its road-testing to Texas, where regulations did not prohibit cars without pedals and a steering wheel.[60] Bills were introduced by interested parties to similarly change the legislation in California.[61]

Google took its first driverless ride on public roads in October 2015, when Mahan took a 10-minute solo ride around Austin in a Google "pod car" with no steering wheel or pedals.[62] In 2016, the company expanded its road testing to the dry Phoenix, Arizona, area and Kirkland, Washington, which has a wet climate.[63] In May 2016, the company opened a 53,000 square foot self-driving technology development center in Novi, Michigan.[64] As of June 2016, Google had test driven their fleet of vehicles, in autonomous mode, a total of 1,725,911 mi (2,777,585 km).[65] In August 2016 alone, their cars traveled a "total of 170,000 miles; of those, 126,000 miles were driven autonomously (i.e., the car was fully in control)".[66] Beginning of 2017, Waymo reported to California DMV a total of 636,868 miles covered by the fleet in autonomous mode, and the associated 124 disengagements, for the period from December 1, 2015 through November 30, 2016.[67]

In November 2017, Waymo altered its Arizona testing by removing safety drivers in the driver position from their autonomous Chrysler Pacificas.[19] The cars were geofenced within a 100 square miles surrounding Chandler, Arizona.[19] Waymo's early rider program members were the first to take rides using the new technology.[19]

Waymo began testing its level 4 autonomous cars in Arizona for several reasons: good weather, simple roads, and the state not requiring that self-driving cars have any special permissions.[19] Users hail vehicles through a Waymo app and an onboard support system can connect them to a Waymo agent at any time.[68] In 2017, Waymo began weather testing in Michigan.[28] Also in 2017, Waymo unveiled its test facility, Castle, on 91 acres in Central Valley, California. Castle, a former air base, has served as the project's training course since 2012.[19]

According to a Waymo report, as of March 2018 Waymo's self-driving technology had driven more than 5 million miles on public roads and more than 5 billion miles via simulation.[31] Waymo's 25,000 virtual self-driving cars travel 8 million miles per day.[29] By October 2018, Waymo had completed 10 million miles of driving on public roads and over 7 billion simulation miles.[69]

In March 2018, Waymo announced its plans to build additional real-world self-driving experiments with the company's self-driving trucks delivering for sister company Google's data centers located in Atlanta, Georgia.[70]

As of 12 September 2018, Waymo was waiting on permits to test the cars in California, hoping to test in Los Altos, Mountain View, Palo Alto, and Sunnyvale.[71] On 30 October 2018, the California Department of Motor Vehicles issued a permit for Waymo to operate fully driverless cars (i.e., cars without a human safety drivers). Waymo was the first company to receive such a permit, which allows day and night testing on public roads and highways, in California. In a blog post, Waymo announced that its fully driverless cars would be restricted to Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Los Altos, and Palo Alto — all communities close to parent company Alphabet's headquarters.[72][73]


In June 2015, Google confirmed that there had been 12 collisions as of that time, eight of which involved being rear-ended by another driver at a stop sign or traffic light, two in which the vehicle was side-swiped by another driver, one of which involved another driver rolling through a stop sign, and one where a Google employee was manually driving the car.[74] As of July 2015, Google's 23 self-driving cars have been involved in 14 minor collisions on public roads,[75] but Google maintains that, in all cases other than the February 2016 incident, the vehicle itself was not at fault because the cars were either being manually driven or the driver of another vehicle was at fault.[76][77][78] On February 14, 2016 while creeping forward to a stoplight, a Google self-driving car attempted to avoid sandbags blocking its path. During the maneuver it struck the side of a bus. Google addressed the crash, saying "In this case, we clearly bear some responsibility, because if our car hadn't moved there wouldn't have been a collision".[79][80] Some incomplete video footage of the crash is available.[81] Google characterized the crash as a misunderstanding and a learning experience.[82] The company also stated "This type of misunderstanding happens between human drivers on the road every day".[83]

Google initially maintained monthly reports that include any traffic incidents that their self-driving cars have been involved in.[84] Waymo now publishes its own safety reports.[85]

Waymo and other companies are required by the California DMV to report the number of incidents during testing where the human driver took control for safety reasons. Some of these incidents were not reported by Google when simulations indicate the car would have coped on its own. There is some controversy concerning this distinction between driver-initiated disengagements that Google reports and those that it does not report.[86]


Waymo operates in some of its testing markets, such as Chandler, Arizona, at level 4 autonomy with no one sitting behind the steering wheel, sharing roadways with other drivers and pedestrians.[19][68] However, more testing is needed. Waymo's earlier testing has focused on areas without harsh weather, extreme density or complicated road systems, but it has moved on to test under new conditions.[31][62] As a result, Waymo has begun testing in areas with harsher conditions, such as its winter testing in Michigan.[28]

In 2014, a critic wrote in the MIT Technology Review that unmapped stopped lights would cause problems with Waymo's technology and the self-driving technology could not detect potholes. Additionally, the lidar technology cannot spot some potholes or discern when humans, such as a police officer, are signaling the car to stop, the critic wrote.[87] Waymo has worked to improve how its technology responds in construction zones.[88][89]


In 2012, Brin stated that Google Self-Driving cars would be available for the general public in 2017,[90] and in 2014 this schedule was updated by project director Chris Urmson to indicate a possible release from 2017 to 2020.[91]

In August 2013, news reports surfaced about Robo-Taxi, a proposed driverless vehicle taxicab service from Google.[92] These reports re-appeared again in early 2014,[93] following the granting of a patent to Google for an advertising fee funded transportation service which included autonomous vehicles as a method of transport.[94] Google consultant Larry Burns says self-driving, taxi-like vehicles "should be viewed as a new form of public transportation".[89]

In a December 2016 blog post, Waymo CEO John Krafcik stated: "We can see our technology being useful in personal vehicles, ridesharing, logistics, or solving last mile problems for public transport" but also that "Our next step as Waymo will be to let people use our vehicles to do everyday things like run errands, commute to work, or get safely home after a night on the town". Temporary use of vehicles is known as Transportation as a Service (TaaS).[95]

In April 2017, Waymo launched an early rider program in Phoenix, Arizona, which signed up 400 users to try out a test edition of Waymo's transportation service. Over the next year, 400 riders used the Waymo service, providing feedback.[96] In May 2018, Waymo announced that it plans to allow everyone in Phoenix to request a driverless ride before the end of year.[97][98]

Waymo highlighted four specific business uses for its autonomous tech in 2017: Ridesharing, users can hail cars equipped with Waymo technology via transportation network company apps; trucking and logistics; urban last-mile solutions for public transportation; and passenger cars.[28] Waymo is also considering licensing autonomous technology to vehicle manufacturers.[62][99]

In 2018, Waymo launched a pilot program with Google to use autonomous trucks to move freight to its sister company's Atlanta-area data centers.[100] Using the same sensors and software as Waymo's other autonomous fleet, Class 8 tractor trailers began testing Waymo's self-driving technology in California and Arizona in 2017.[100]

In May 2018, Waymo established a subsidiary in Shanghai , Huimo Business Consulting, with $441,000 of funding.[101]

Waymo LLC v. Uber Technologies, Inc. et al.

In February 2017, Waymo sued Uber and its subsidiary self-driving trucking company, Otto, for allegedly stealing Waymo's trade secrets and infringing upon its patents. The company claimed that three ex-Google employees including Anthony Levandowski who was one of the Google driverless car project members stole trade secrets, which included thousands of driverless car technology files from Google, and joined Uber.[102] The infringement is related to Waymo's proprietary lidar technology,[103][104] which could measure the distances between objects using laser and create their three dimensional representations.[105] Google accused Uber of colluding with Levandowski to obtain information about it and other technologies in its driverless car project.[106] The former Google engineer downloaded 9 gigabytes of data that included over a hundred trade secrets; eight of those were at stake during the trial.[107][108]

The trial began on February 5, 2018,[109] and was dismissed on February 9, as a settlement was announced with Uber giving Waymo with 0.34 percent of Uber's stock,[110] the equivalent of $245 million in Uber equity and agreeing to ensure Uber does not infringe Waymo's intellectual property.[111] Part of the agreement included a guarantee that "Waymo confidential information is not being incorporated in Uber Advanced Technologies Group hardware and software."[112] Uber maintained that no trade secrets made their way to the ride-hailing company, in released statements after the settlement.[113] In May, according to the statement from Matt Kallman, an Uber spokenman, Uber had fired Levandowski which result in a lost of 250 millions roughly of his own equity in Uber and this value almost exactly equal to the stock value Uber paid to Waymo LLC. [114]


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Further reading

External links

Alphabet Inc.

Alphabet Inc. is an American multinational conglomerate headquartered in Mountain View, California. It was created through a corporate restructuring of Google on October 2, 2015, and became the parent company of Google and several former Google subsidiaries. The two founders of Google assumed executive roles in the new company, with Larry Page serving as CEO and Sergey Brin as president.Alphabet's portfolio encompasses several industries, including technology, life sciences, investment capital, and research. Some of its subsidiaries include Google, Calico, Chronicle, GV, CapitalG, Verily, Waymo, X, Loon and Google Fiber. Some of the subsidiaries of Alphabet have altered their names since leaving Google and becoming part of the new parent company—Google Ventures becoming GV, Google Life Sciences becoming Verily and Google X becoming just X. Following the restructuring, Page became CEO of Alphabet and Sundar Pichai took his position as CEO of Google. Shares of Google's stock have been converted into Alphabet stock, which trade under Google's former ticker symbols of "GOOG" and "GOOGL". As of 2018, Alphabet is ranked No. 22 on the Fortune 500 rankings of the largest United States corporations by total revenue.The establishment of Alphabet was prompted by a desire to make the core Google Internet services business "cleaner and more accountable" while allowing greater autonomy to group companies that operate in businesses other than Internet services.

Anthony Levandowski

Anthony Levandowski (born March 15, 1980) is an American self-driving car engineer. In 2016 he co-founded Otto, an autonomous trucking company, with Lior Ron, Claire Delaunay and Don Burnette. Prior to Otto, he built the Google self-driving car while working as a co-founder and technical lead on the project, known as Waymo. He is known for his work in the advancement of self-driving technology.On May 15, 2017, United States District Judge

banned Levandowski from further work on Otto's Lidar technology on the basis of having breached the confidentiality of former employer Waymo. On May 30th, 2017, Uber fired Levandowski for failing to cooperate with investigators.

Chris Urmson

Chris Urmson is an engineer known for his work pioneering self-driving car technology. He has previously worked with Alphabet on their self-driving car project and is CEO of the start-up company Aurora Innovation.


The Chromebit is a dongle running Google's Chrome OS operating system. When placed in the HDMI port of a television or a monitor, this device turns that display into a personal computer. Chromebit allows adding a keyboard or mouse over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. The device was announced in April 2015 and began shipping that November.

Chrysler Pacifica (minivan)

The Chrysler Pacifica is a minivan being produced by the Chrysler division of FCA US LLC. Despite sharing its name with a discontinued crossover, it is an all-new design replacing the Chrysler Town & Country.

The minivan is produced with two powertrains, a 3.6-liter gasoline powered engine and a plug-in hybrid, marketed as Pacifica Hybrid. The plug-in hybrid version has a 16-kWh lithium-ion battery that can propel the car up to 33 mi (53 km) on electric power alone. The gasoline-only version of the Pacifica minivan went on sale in mid-2016, while the plug-in hybrid version became available in early 2017.

Google Dataset Search

Google Dataset Search is a search engine from Google that helps researchers locate online data that is freely available for use. The company launched the service on September 5, 2018, and stated that the product was targeted at scientists and data journalists.

Google Dataset Search complements Google Scholar, the company's search engine for academic studies and reports.

Google Finance

Google Finance is a website focusing on business news and financial information hosted by Google.

Google Fit

Google Fit is a health-tracking platform developed by Google for the Android operating system and Wear OS. It is a single set of APIs that blends data from multiple apps and devices. Google Fit uses sensors in a user's activity tracker or mobile device to record physical fitness activities (such as walking or cycling), which are measured against the user's fitness goals to provide a comprehensive view of their fitness.

Google Forms

Google Forms is a survey administration app that is included in the Google Drive office suite along with Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides.

Forms features all of the collaboration and sharing features found in Docs, Sheets, and Slides.

Google Guice

Google Guice (pronounced "juice") is an open-source software framework for the Java platform released by Google under the Apache License. It provides support for dependency injection using annotations to configure Java objects. Dependency injection is a design pattern whose core principle is to separate behavior from dependency resolution.

Guice allows implementation classes to be bound programmatically to an interface, then injected into constructors, methods or fields using an @Inject annotation. When more than one implementation of the same interface is needed, the user can create custom annotations that identify an implementation, then use that annotation when injecting it.

Being the first generic framework for dependency injection using Java annotations in 2008, Guice won the 18th Jolt Award for best Library, Framework, or Component.

John Krafcik

John Krafcik (born September 18, 1961) is the CEO of Waymo. Krafcik was the former president of True Car Inc. and president and CEO of Hyundai Motor America. He was named CEO of Google's self-driving car project in September 2015. Krafcik remained CEO after Google separated its self-driving car project and transitioned it into a new company called Waymo, housed under Google's parent company Alphabet Inc.

Larry Burns (General Motors)

Lawrence D. "Larry" Burns is the former corporate vice president of Research and Development for General Motors. Burns oversaw GM's advanced technology, innovation programs, and corporate strategy. He was a member of GM’s Automotive Strategy Board and Automotive Product Board. Within GM, he personally championed vehicle electrification, “connected” vehicles, fuel cells, bio-fuels, advanced batteries, autonomous driving, and a series of innovative concept vehicles. He has been a leading advocate for design and technology innovation focused on the total customer experience and the application of operations research. [1]. He is the author of Autonomy: The Quest to Build the Driverless Car—And How It Will Reshape Our World and a co-author of Reinventing the Automobile: Personal Urban Mobility for the 21st Century.

Burns was invited to speak at the 2005 TED Conference.

In 2011, Burns was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering.Burns advises organizations on the future of mobility, logistics, manufacturing, energy and innovation. His clients include Waymo (previously Google Self-Driving Cars), Peloton Technology and Kitson & Partners.

List of most expensive and valuable assets

This is a list of most expensive and valuable assets. The list covers assets that have an estimated market value, as well as those that required significant costs to be implemented. To be listed on this page, the asset in question needs to have cost, or needs to have a market value of at least $1 billion. Some megaprojects, such as Big Dig, are not included, seeing that they are not individual articles.

List of self-driving car fatalities

Since 2013 when self-driving cars first began appearing in large numbers on public roadways, a primary goal of manufacturers has been to create an autonomous car system that is clearly and demonstrably safer than an average human-controlled car. Whether that will be possible in the real world without sacrificing even more human lives is a controversial topic, especially in light of accidents and fatalities resulting from system glitches.There are currently five levels of automated driving, of which two are considered autonomous (or self-driving) driving (Level 4 and Level 5). Tesla Autopilot is a Level 2 automated driving system.

One of the key metrics for comparing the safety levels for autonomously controlled car systems versus human controlled car systems is the number of fatalities per 100,000,000 miles (160,000,000 kilometres) driven. Cars driven under traditional human control are currently involved in approximately 1.18 fatalities for every 100,000,000 mi (160,000,000 km) driven. According to many automotive safety experts, much more data is yet required before any such clear and demonstrably higher levels of safety can be convincingly provided.To demonstrate reliability in terms of fatalities and injuries, autonomous vehicles would have to be driven hundreds of millions more miles in full autonomous mode. As of February 2018, autonomous vehicles from Waymo (the Google Self-Driving Car Project) have covered 5 million miles with the presence of a human driver who monitors and overrides the autonomous mode to improve safety. According to reports, human intervention for autonomous vehicles was needed every 13 miles to 5600 miles on average.On December 20, 2018, Uber returned self-driving cars to the roads in public testing in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, following the pedestrian fatality on March 18. Uber said that it received authorization from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Uber said that it was also pursuing deploying cars on roads in San Francisco, California and Toronto, Ontario.


A Robo-Taxi, also known as a Robo-Cab, a self-driving taxi or a driverless taxi is an autonomous car (SAE Level 4 or 5) operated for an e-hailing (on-demand mobility) service.

The fact of eliminating the need for a human chauffeur, which represents a significant part of the operating costs of that type of services, could make it a very affordable solution for the customers and accelerate the spreading of Transportation-as-a-Service (TaaS) solutions as opposed to individual car ownership. However, it raises the issue of job destruction.Several studies highlighted that robo-taxis operated in an AMoD service could be one of the most rapidly adopted applications of autonomous cars at scale and a major mobility solution in the near future, especially in urban areas, providing the majority of vehicle miles in the United States within a decade of their first introduction. Moreover, they could have a very positive impact on road safety, traffic congestion and parking. Concerning pollution and consumption of energy and other resources, robo-taxis could lead to significant improvement since these services will most probably use electric cars and for most of the rides, less vehicle size and range is necessary compared to usual, individually owned vehicles. The expectable reduction of the number of vehicles means less embodied energy but energy consumption for redistribution of empty vehicles must be taken into account.

Self-driving car

A self-driving car, also known as a robot car, autonomous car, or driverless car, is a vehicle that is capable of sensing its environment and moving with little or no human input.Autonomous cars combine a variety of sensors to perceive their surroundings, such as radar, Lidar, sonar, GPS, odometry and inertial measurement units. Advanced control systems interpret sensory information to identify appropriate navigation paths, as well as obstacles and relevant signage.Potential benefits include reduced costs, increased safety, increased mobility, increased customer satisfaction and reduced crime. Safety benefits include a reduction in traffic collisions, resulting in injuries and related costs, including for insurance. Automated cars are predicted to increase traffic flow; provide enhanced mobility for children, the elderly, disabled, and the poor; relieve travelers from driving and navigation chores; increase fuel efficiency of vehicle; significantly reduce needs for parking space; reduce crime; and facilitate business models for transportation as a service, especially via the sharing economy.Problems include safety, possible technological errors, liability, legal framework and government regulations; risk of loss of privacy and security concerns, such as hackers or cyber terrorism; concern about the loss of driving-related jobs in the road transport industry; and risk of increased suburbanization as travel becomes more convenient.


Uber is a transportation network company (TNC) headquartered in San Francisco, California. Uber offers services including peer-to-peer ridesharing, ride service hailing, food delivery, and a bicycle-sharing system. The company has operations in 785 metropolitan areas worldwide. Its platforms can be accessed via its websites and mobile apps. Uber has been so prominent in the sharing economy that the changes in industries as a result of it have been referred to as Uberisation and many startups have described their products as "Uber for X".The name "Uber" is a reference to the common (and somewhat colloquial) word uber, meaning "topmost" or "super", and having its origins in the German word über, cognate with over, meaning "above".Uber is estimated to have 100 million worldwide users and a 69% market share in the United States.Uber is a gold member of the Linux Foundation and has a five star privacy rating from the Electronic Frontier Foundation.Most jurisdictions regulate TNCs such as Uber and TNCs are banned from operating in some jurisdictions. For more information, see Legality of TNCs by jurisdiction.

Vehicular automation

Vehicular automation involves the use of mechatronics, artificial intelligence, and multi-agent system to assist a vehicle's operator. These features and the vehicles employing them may be labeled as intelligent or smart. A vehicle using automation for difficult tasks, especially navigation, may be referred to as semi-autonomous. A vehicle relying solely on automation is consequently referred to as robotic or autonomous. After the invention of the integrated circuit, the sophistication of automation technology increased. Manufacturers and researchers subsequently added a variety of automated functions to automobiles and other vehicles.

X (company)

X Development LLC. (formerly Google X) is an American semi-secret research and development facility and organization founded by Google in January 2010, which now operates as a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc. X has its headquarters about a mile and a half from Alphabet's corporate headquarters, the Googleplex, in Mountain View, California.Work at X is overseen by entrepreneur scientist Astro Teller, as CEO and "Captain of Moonshots". The lab started with the development of Google's self-driving car.On October 2, 2015, after the complete restructuring of Google into Alphabet, Google X became an independent Alphabet company and was renamed to X.

On 25 October 2018, The New York Times published an exposé entitled, "How Google Protected Andy Rubin, the ‘Father of Android’". The company subsequently announced that "48 employees have been fired over the last two years" for sexual misconduct. A week after the article appeared, Google X executive Rich DeVaul resigned pursuant to a complaint of sexual harassment.

Self-driving cars and enabling technologies
Overview and context
SAE Levels
Enabling technologies
Organizations, Projects & People

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