Tesla 'Not A Competitor At All' In Self-Driving Space, Says Waymo CEO

Alphabet Inc GOOGL GOOG self-driving unit Waymo’s CEO John Krafcik dismissed Tesla Inc TSLA as a competitor in an interview with Germany's Manager Magazin.

What Happened: “For us, Tesla is not a competitor at all,” Krafcik told Manager Magazin. 

“We manufacture a completely autonomous driving system. Tesla is an automaker that is developing a really good driver assistance system,” Business Insider reported, citing the interview.

The executive claimed that Waymo’s sensor setup is “orders of magnitude better.”

“It is a misconception that you can just keep developing a driver assistance system until one day you can magically leap to a fully autonomous driving system,” Krafcik said, as per Business Insider.

Why It Matters: The auto executive said that the “costs for the technology are greatly overestimated” in the case of Waymo, Forbes reported.

Krafcik said the costs of owning one of Waymo’s vehicles were comparable to a moderately equipped Daimler AG DDAIF made Mercedes S-Class sedan.

That vehicle costs nearly $180,000 in the United States, as per Forbes. Waymo utilizes LiDAR technology in its vehicles. 

Last year, Waymo had said its autonomy strategy was “orders of magnitude more advanced” than the competition — in a jibe apparently aimed at Tesla.

This month, Waymo said it would stop referencing the term “self-driving” and instead use more “deliberate language” in relation to its technology and call it “fully autonomous driving tech” to distinguish itself from other companies that use the term.

Musk said this month that even if the cost of lidar sensors became zero, Tesla would not utilize them

Price Action: On Friday, Alphabet Class A shares closed 0.45% higher at $1,892.56 and Class C shares closed nearly 0.5% higher at $1,901.05. On the same day, Tesla shares closed 0.2% higher at $846.64 and gained 0.1% in the after-hours session.

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Posted In: autonomous vehiclesElon MuskJohn Krafcikself-driving technologyWaymoNewsEventsTechMedia