- When people use stories about Tesla, Uber, or Ford to argue that self-driving cars are still many years away, they ignore the fact that Google-now Waymo-has been working on this problem way longer than anyone else. In October 2015, Google was already confident enough in its technology to let a blind man take an unaccompanied test drive on Austin streets. Almost three years later, it's not clear if anyone else has managed to build technology as sophisticated as Waymo had three years ago.
- So it might be true that the rest of the industry is failing to live up to early self-driving car hype. But Waymo is in a class by itself.
- Meanwhile, for months, Waymo has been staffing up its operations center in Chandler, Arizona, (the center for its forthcoming Phoenix-area taxi service) as well as its Google Mountain View headquarters. Waymo currently has open positions for both fleet dispatchers-who handle calls from Waymo's safety drivers-as well as driverless fleet dispatchers, who focus on providing a "flawless rider experience."