Alphabet Inc's GOOGLGOOG Waymo is working on level 5 autonomous self-driving cars. The company currently has a robotaxi service that can take people from point A to point B with no human in the driver's seat. The technology is geofenced, meaning it only works and is only available in a pre-determined area, as of now, a small part of Phonix Arizona.
When asked if Waymo believed its autonomy strategy was "orders of magnitude more advanced" than the competition, implying Tesla Inc TSLA and that company's full self-driving software solution, Waymo simply responded with "Yes." Now the word Tesla was never used, but based on the way the question was phrased, it's safe to assume the question was asking if Waymo believed it had a better self-driving approach than Tesla.
Benzinga's Take: No company has yet cracked full level 5 autonomy. Waymo uses HD Maps, which is a method that first scans and documents a route in great detail, which is then used to assist the self-driving car. Waymo then uses a combination of LIDAR, radar and cameras.
Tesla uses eight exterior cameras and radar, and its software has to determine the best decision to make on the fly. Elon Musk has said LIDAR is a fool's errand and believes it's not necessary for driverless cars.
While Waymo is currently only useable on a small number of cars, Tesla has thousands of vehicles on the road, all using its software. There is also a small set of users using a Full Self Driving Beta, which allows the cars to take drivers from point A to point B with zero interventions.
Photo courtesy of Waymo.
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