Waymo raises $ 2.25 billion to expand self-driving car business

Waymo, Google's parent company's self-driving car unit, has just received a huge capital injection from a large number of investors. Nowadays Announce It has raised $ 2.25 in funding from Silver Lake, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Mubadala Investment Company, and Magna International, Andreessen Horowitz, AutoNation, and Alphabet itself.

CEO John Krafcik said: "We have always made team sports our mission, working with our OEM and supplier partners, our operations partners and the communities we serve to build And deploy the most experienced driver in the world. "" Today, we are expanding the team, adding financial investors and important strategic partners who have decades of investment experience and building change for successful technology companies Support for sexual products. By injecting capital and business acumen with Alphabet, we will deepen our investment in people, technology and operations, all of which will support the global deployment of Waymo Driver. "

This is in report According to the Information, the number of Waymo employees nearly doubled from 800 a year ago to 1,500, known as "Waymonauts." The company's annual cost is estimated at about $ 1 billion, while annual revenue for its autonomous taxi business, Waymo One, is said to be only a few hundred thousand dollars. To date, Waymo has not shared the number of customers riding in its more than 600 fleets, but in December it said 1,500 people Its ride-hailing service is used every month, and the service has accumulated more than 100,000 since the rider program was launched in 2017.

Silver Lake co-CEO Egon Durban said in a statement: "Waymo is the recognized leader in self-driving technology, the only self-driving car company to offer public ride-hailing services, and is successfully expanding its completely driverless Experience. "" We are aligned with Waymo's commitment to making roads safer, and look forward to working together to help promote and expand the Waymo Driver in the United States and beyond. "

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Robot taxi growth

Google began testing self-driving cars equipped with lidar sensors, radar, cameras, and powerful on-board computers on a road in San Francisco in a stealth project in 2009. In 2016, the department Renamed Waymo The Alphabet subsidiary, which was led by John Krafcik, former president and CEO of Hyundai North America, was spun off.

Waymo One's geographic development is far more than Phoenix, but it is gradually being released to the United States. For this, the Waymo One app for iOS Fired In the App Store in the second half of last year. Just like the Android app that was publicly released in , Waymo One for iOS is available to ride anywhere in Phoenix 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It prompts the customer to specify a pick-up point before estimating their arrival time and fare. As with typical ride-hailing applications, users can also enter payment information and use a five-star scale to rate ride quality.

Shortly after the partnership was announced Lyft In order to deploy 10 cars on Phoenix's ride platform, Waymo revealed that some of its self-driving taxis no longer have Safety driver Behind the steering wheel. The company says that in Waymo's "Early Riders" program, only "hundreds" of riders can use completely unmanned.

Waymo

Above: A self-driving car developed by Waymo, the parent company of Google.

Waymo plans to significantly expand its business in the coming months. The company is expected to add 62,000 Chrysler Pacifica minivans to its fleet and has signed an agreement with Jaguar Land Rover to produce 20,000 Jaguar I-Pace electric SUVs for its automaker by 2020. (Some of these I-Paces are currently being tested on public roads in San Francisco.)

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According to the marketing company ABI, 8 million driverless cars Will hit the road in 2025 and Research and Markets is expected to have some 20 million self-driving cars The company will operate in the United States by 2030. Assuming Waymo maintains its current development trajectory, investment bank UBS believes that the company will dominate the self-driving car in the next ten years and occupy more than 60% of the .

This may be optimistic-Yandex, Tesla, Zoox, Aptiv, May Mobility, Pronto.ai, Aurora, Nuro and GM's Cruise Automation are among Waymo's self-driving car competitors, to name a few. Last summer, Daimler obtained a permit from the Chinese government to test self-driving cars powered by Baidu's Apollo platform on Chinese public roads. Beijing headquarters ponyRaised hundreds of millions of dollars in venture capital, Driverless taxi driver October in Irvine. And start Optimus Prime A small automated shuttle fleet was established in New York City, becoming the first to do so.

Self-driving truck

Waymo recently announced that it will begin testing self-driving trucks on "promising" commercial routes in two U.S. states to increase profits. A Chrysler Pacifica van equipped with the Waymo technology stack will draw road maps ahead of the driverless Peterbilt truck as part of a project called Waymo Via. (Waymo describes Waymo Via as focusing on "various forms of merchandise delivery.") Waymo is also actively mapping. Los Angeles Study traffic jams and extend testing to U.S. highways Florida Fly between Orlando, Tampa, Fort Myers, and Miami, it flies through the San Francisco Bay Area, Michigan, Arizona, Georgia, and the Phoenix Metropolitan Highway (and the I-10 between Phoenix and Tucson (State) Car driver self-driving truck.

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Waymo Via

Demand for driverless trucks is strong. It is expected that they will reach 6,700 units worldwide, with a total of 54.23 billion US dollars this year, which will save 70 billion US dollars each year for the logistics and shipping industry, while increasing productivity by 30%. In addition to cost savings, part of the growth is also to a shortage of human resources. The American Trucking Associates estimates that in 2018, even after the US Department of Transportation's screening recommendations for sleep apnea were put on hold, more than 50,000 truck drivers would be needed to meet demand.

But Waymo is TuSimple, Thor Trucks and Pronto.ai, and attracted in Aurora $ 530 million Investment in February exceeded $ 2 billion. And Ike, a self-driving truck startup founded by former Apple, Google, and Uber Advanced Technologies Group engineers, $ 52 millionAnd venture-backed Swedish driverless car companies Einlid. Meanwhile, Paz Eshel and former Uber and Otto engineer Don Burnette recently raised $ 40 for their startup Kodiak Robotics. Not to mention Embark, which integrates unmanned systems into Semis, and works with Amazon to transport cargo by pilots, or automated truck solutions from established companies such as Daimler and Volvo.

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