Last year was the most significant yet in Waymo's 11-year effort to develop a driverless car. The Google sister company raised $3.2 billion, signed deals with several partners, and launched the world's first truly driverless taxi service in Phoenix, Arizona. Even so, the widespread rollout of fully autonomous vehicles remains slow, staggered, and costly. "It's an extraordinary grind," said John Krafcik, Waymo chief executive, in an interview with the Financial Times. "I would say it's a bigger challenge than launching a rocket and putting it in orbit around the Earth… because it has to be done safely over and over and over again." Gone is the optimism of just a couple of years ago. In March 2018, Waymo confidently forecast that " up to 20,000 " electric Jaguars "will be built in the first two years of production and be available for riders of Waymo's driverless service, serving a potential 1 million trips per day." Two months later, it added that " up to 62,000 " Chrysler minivans would join its driverless fleet, "starting in late 2018." Today, there is little sign that any of these vehicles have been ordered, and Waymo's official fleet size remains just 600. Mr. Krafcik, a… Read full this story
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