Today, more than 40 automakers and tech heavyweights are working on building autonomous car technology. Progress towards working prototypes on the road has been slow, due to disasters like the fatal crash involving a self-driving Uber vehicle in 2018 and the collision of a Tesla vehicle that killed two men in 2021, as well as the inherent technical difficulty of building a self-driving car that can navigate complex environments safely.

Alphabet’s Waymo has advanced ahead of autonomous driving projects at Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft by a significant margin, and is broadly considered to be the industry leader in autonomous driving technology. Alphabet (which also owns Google) has leveraged its expertise in machine learning and AI hardware, as well as its massive scale and war chest, to fuel Waymo’s progress.

The company’s cars have logged the most miles, both in the physical world and in simulations. By January 2020, Waymo had exceeded 20M road miles and 15B simulated miles, giving its engineers and data scientists vast volumes of data with which to improve the company’s underlying technologies.

Waymo is unique among the technology companies and corporates working on autonomous driving technology mainly due to this public-facing orientation: its goal is not to produce its own autonomous vehicles, but to partner with an existing automaker or automakers to sell a safer, more efficient, and potentially cheaper ride-hailing service to the general public.

Michael Conlin

Michael Conlin​

Chief Technology Officer​
Phone: (703) 216-5856​​

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