Waymo released a new ad Tuesday that shows how driverless companies plan to make money in an unparalleled Google style: car calling services, delivery, trucking and logistics, according tomedia. Waymo released the new ad after announcing $2.25 billion in funding for its first round of external financing.
As driverless technology continues (very) slowly toward commercialization, Waymo is a reminder that self-driving cars are not just a concept of the future. They will eventually be available to us. However, the ad avoids mentioning that the supply of self-driving cars may be limited for many years to come.
Most importantly, the ad foreshadows a possible future for Waymo vehicles: in a world where you can summon a completely driverless Waymo vehicle to take you where you need to go, or an automated delivery truck to deliver a takeaway order. It also provides a vision for other companies that may want to ship goods through Waymo Via, the company’s newly named trucking company.
The ad concludes: “This is the Waymo driver. A driver who is reimagining transportation for all of us. “
This is in stark contrast to the current situation in Waymo. The case for about 1,500 residents of towns around Phoenix, Arizona, is using the company’s self-driving minivans for short trips over 100 square miles. Waymo’s Class 8 trailers have been tested in Arizona, California and Georgia and are currently being tested on highways in Texas and New Mexico. The delivery cart shown in the ad has not been shown or tested.
Obviously, this ad lacks some content. Back in 2018, Waymo revealed that it was exploring ways to sell self-driving cars to customers as individual-owned cars. For the next two years, the company remained silent, until recently in a podcast interview with Waymo CEO John Krafcik.
Mr Kravsik said he envisaged a subscription service in which people could use self-driving cars as private vehicles for a specified period of time. Eventually, the subscriber returns the vehicle to Waymo, which then re-integrates it into their fleet for taxi or delivery service. But the idea is still in the works, which explains why it is not mentioned in the ad.