Google CEO Sundar Pichai Says 'Computers Assisting Humans In Driving Is Obvious' As Uber Moves Closer To Self-Driving Fleet

Alphabet Inc.'s GOOG Google has been at the forefront of one of the most anticipated advancements: self-driving cars. Google CEO Sundar Pichai recently shared his insights on the progress and future of autonomous vehicles, particularly through the company's self-driving car company Waymo.

Owned and operated by Alphabet, Waymo has seen steady growth in its expansion of self-driving cars. 

One of Waymo's most remarkable feats is its ability to navigate San Francisco's complex urban landscape. Much progress has been made since five years ago when self-driving cars struggled to navigate around obstacles, Pichai said. 

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“When I look at the next six months, 12 months, 18 months, it looks like there’s going to be a lot more progress there. I feel very bullish about it. It is very clear to me that having computers assist humans in driving is going to be one of the most obvious things," Pichaii said during the 2024 Business, Government & Society Forum at Stanford Graduate School of Business on April 3. "Twenty years from now, people will look back and say, ‘You mean you had a time when computers weren’t assisting humans in driving?’ So, it would seem silly. I think we are pointed in the right direction. The technological gap we have there, the leadership we have there, it’s pretty important and significant.”

The progress and increasing autonomy of vehicles highlight the disruptive and lucrative nature of startups

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Waymo’s recent partnership with Uber Eats to introduce a driverless meal delivery service exemplifies the practical applications of autonomous technology. In select Phoenix neighborhoods, customers can now enjoy the convenience of having their meals delivered by autonomous vehicles through the Uber Eats app without incurring additional costs.

Unlike food being directly handed to customers or left in front of the door, customers who receive food via self-driving cars will have to walk to the road or parking lot to collect the food. 

This partnership builds upon Waymo and Uber’s previous collaboration that initially focused on providing autonomous rides to Uber riders in Phoenix. The expansion into meal delivery suggests positive outcomes from their initial efforts.

Uber Eats has also partnered with other companies like Cartken, Motional, Nuro and Serve Robotics to trial autonomous deliveries across various states, indicating a broader industry trend toward integrating self-driving technology into delivery services.

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