The automotive industry especially is rife with innovation. Fleet management systems now combine GPS with sophisticated software, helping fleet businesses to chop costs and boost efficiency.
Quietly elegant electric vehicles and hybrids are, one-by-one, replacing our gas guzzlers with cleaner, leaner tech. But fully driverless vehicles? Well, they’re what we’ve all really been expecting .
Why? Well, for one thing, Waymo the AV venture travel by Google and its parent company, Alphabet expects that replacing flawed, confusable human brains with cool, calm, and picked up AI artificial intelligence will prevent road accidents, 94% of which are currently said to be caused by human error.
Plus, driverless cars promise to supply a convenient, safe transport choice to those with visual defect or mobility issues. AVs have gotten the cool factor, yes. But they’re also very likely to be of real benefit to mankind.
It’s an exciting time to be alive, for sure. But it might be naive folks to think that Google and Alphabet are pursuing this invention straight out of the pages of sci-fi simply because they’re feeling adventurous or charitable.
No even as fish have gotten to swim, tech behemoths have gotten to form money.
So, what’s Google doing to monetize this groundbreaking venture? Will it start selling driverless cars to the public? Unlikely, a minimum of at the instant.
Will it license its self-driving tech bent other AV developers? Also unlikely we all know that tech companies don’t like having to believe Google’s ingenuity rather than their own.
So, what else? Will Google start a driverless ride-hailing service? Well, actually, yes! Enter, Waymo One.
Having completed its first journey in 2018, Waymo One are often distilled down into three words: Uber without drivers. (But don’t worry, chatterboxes backup human drivers are currently stationed in each Waymo vehicle. You know, just just in case.
At the instant , Waymo One isn’t widely available it’s currently being tested in several cities within the Metro Phoenix area of Arizona, and Waymo remains tight lipped about the cities, states, and countries it hopes to expand into in future.
Only a get number of local citizens can use the service immediately , but you’ll still download the app it’s now available for iOS and Android, join the waitlist, and cross your fingers.
Of course, regardless of how innovative the proposition, venturing into the ride hailing industry remains something of a risk. At the instant the market is dominated by Uber.
Knocking Uber and its cheap rides and one-tap hailing off its pedestal goes to be a troublesome one, especially now this king among cabs is additionally experimenting with AVs.
Plus, there’s the very fact that Uber isn’t actually profitable. In 2019, it made an eye watering loss of $8.5 billion, and had to get off 1,000 workers. However you spin it, right now, the long-term business viability of ride-hailing apps generally is in question.
Of course, Google may be a different quite business; one which will mine gold from a special source: user data. As more and more passengers check in to and begin using Waymo One, Google will gain more personal data from these consumers, and thus, more fresh, juicy marketing opportunities with all types of money-making potential.
There’s also the tiny incontrovertible fact that Waymo One will release hours for people who’d usually need to spend tons of your time driving.
When the car does the driving for you, you’ve got time to take a seat back, whip out your phone, and use Google’s other services: browse Google, check Gmail, explore Google Maps in other words, you’ve got time to get even more revenue for the corporate alongside paying for your trips with Waymo One.
As Waymo One enters the B2C market, Google’s AV tech also can be found catering to the planet of B2B with Waymo selling its lidar technology to other companies.
For a touch of context, lidar is what most driverless vehicles use to, well, get around. To pack a posh idea into a couple of simple words: lidar image sensors pulse out laser light that bounces backtrack surrounding objects, effectively telling the vehicle what the planet around it’s like.
After finding that the store-bought variety wasn’t cutting it any longer , Waymo began to develop its own 3D lidar sensors in 2011. Now, central to Waymo’s storefront of technological wonders is Laser Bear Honeycomb.
Before you ask, it isn’t a crossover event between Marvel and Winnie the Pooh it’s the name of the lidar device that Waymo has been selling to pick partners since March 2019.
Of course, it only supplies the devices to companies that have zilch to try to to with driverless vehicles its partners are primarily within the robotics, security, and agricultural sectors. After all, why provides a leg up to the competition?
For Waymo (read: Google) and people partners, this arrangement is extremely much a win-win.
As Simon Verghese, head of Waymo’s lidar team, wrote in a politician blog post: Offering this lidar to partners helps spur the expansion of applications outside of self driving cars and also propels our business forward.
we will scale our autonomous technology faster, making each sensor cheaper through economies of scale.
So, there we’ve it a few of the way by which Google is making money through its autonomous vehicles and therefore the tech that powers them.
Of course, with Waymo’s figures hidden away within the shadowy ‘Other Bets’ section of Google’s financial records,
it’ll be difficult for us to inform just how financially successful these ventures are. regardless of what happens, though, autonomous vehicles are poised to vary the planet .