John Krafcik google hyundai

Waymo CEO John Krafcik shared on Wednesday why the self-driving-car company has steered clear of driver-assistance tools at Bloomberg’s Tech Conference.

Waymo, a Google spinoff, is pursuing level 4 self-driving cars, meaning the vehicles can drive without any human intervention in select locations. That strategy has reportedly had its drawbacks; in 2016, several top executives left the program for companies looking to bring the tech to market faster by building semi-autonomous systems.

But Krafcik said that there’s a “fundamental conundrum” for companies putting driver-assistance tools on the market: how do you get people to pay attention?

“If at some point the car needs to ask the human to pay attention… that could be a big problem,” he said. “It’s one of the reasons we pivoted Waymo to a full self-driving solution.”

Level 2 autonomous systems, like Tesla Autopilot, can handle some driving tasks but still require a driver to pay attention and sometimes take back control of the car.

Tesla’s Autopilot, introduced in October 2015, was the focus of intense scrutiny when it was disclosed in July 2016 that a driver was using the technology when he crashed into a semi-truck and died. The NTSB, an independent government investigative agency, said …read more

Source:: Businessinsider – Tech

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