Waymo CEO says they don’t see Tesla as a competitor

Waymo CEO says they don’t see Tesla as a competitor

During a recent interview with the Financial Times, Waymo CEO John Krafick discussed the company’s autonomous developments in 2020, and what’s to come in 2021.

Something quite interesting to come out of the interview (around 7:45) was this statement from Krafic.

Our key technology is the driver, that’s the most important point, that’s what we’re here for. We’re not a car company therefore, so we really don’t see Tesla as a competitor, rather we see Tesla and other car companies working primarily in this driver assist area.

Waymo CEO, John Krafick

This statement came after a question from SF Correspondent for The Financial Times, Patrick McGee, who asked about Krafick’s thoughts on what Tesla was doing with Full Self Driving and how they may be pushing forward with the roll out, despite challenges with automation complacency.

The idea that Waymo and Tesla don’t compete is ludicrous. Waymo buys off the shelf sensors (like Lidar) and radar, and attaches them to 3rd party vehicles like Chysler Pacifica minivans, and the latest Jaguar I-Pace. This hardware is then leveraged by Waymo’s software smarts to perform autonomous driving. Waymo is also working on integrating with Class 8 Trucks, something that would go head to head with the Tesla Semi.

While Tesla make the hardware and software, and Waymo buy the hardware and make the software, in 2025, if you need to go somewhere, you’re going to pull out your phone and request a ride. You’ll have a choice to make, use the Waymo app, or the Tesla app.

They are absolutely competitors.

If you’re a transport and logistics company looking to move freight between point A and point B for the lowest possible cost, you’d really like to remove the cost of the human driver and the delays created by the mandated safety breaks for humans.

If you’re a fleet manager looking to buy your next truck in 2025, you’ll have a choice, buy a truck powered by Waymo’s tech, or buy a Tesla Semi, using Tesla’s tech.

They are absolutely competitors.

Right now Waymo has a fully operational autonomous service, in one very specific area, south-east Phoenix. When asked why we’re now 10 years on from Waymo’s conception and they still don’t have wide-spread service availability, it revealed the limitations of their technology stack.

Waymo relies on HD maps, that is cars driving around, mapping the city streets in high resolution, which are assembled as maps. These maps are then a reference for the autonomous vehicles to use when navigating the

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