Waymo boss: people at the wheel will not be suppressed

Waymo boss: people at the wheel will not be suppressed

Robot car company waymo is bracing itself for the fact that software for self-driving cars won’t take humans off the wheel completely.

"We will continue to see an incredible number of interesting cars for human drivers, perhaps even more than in the past," the head of the google sister company, john krafcik, told "auto motor und sport" magazine. Autonomous driving, on the other hand, could help with commuting and make roads safer.

Krafcik is striking a different tone than has long been the norm among developers of self-driving cars. They often pointed out that human error at the wheel is responsible for more than 90 percent of fatal accidents, and that a flat transition to autonomous driving will save many lives. However, over the past few years, it has turned out that it takes much longer than initially expected to get the robotic car software up and running in everyday use.

Waymo is considered to be particularly far along in developing the technology and is operating a robotaxi service on a test basis in parts of the city of phoenix in arizona. The google sister company wants to offer its software, the "waymo driver" (driver) also to car manufacturers. "We are thinking hard about the best way to introduce the waymo rider to german roads. I’m personally very motivated to do this," said krafcik to "auto motor und sport.

At the same time, he confirmed that his company’s robot car software does not need the super-fast 5G data radio that is often described as a prerequisite for autonomous driving. "Waymo does not need 5G – or 4G. Everything we need is on board the car," said krafcik. Mobile communications needed the cars only for additional services, such as fleet monitoring.