Waymo CEO John Krafcik explains why a parking lot is one of the most difficult environments for a self-driving car (GOOGL)


Since John Krafcik became the CEO of Google’s self-driving car project, now called Waymo, in 2015, the company has achieved two significant milestones.

The first came in 2016, when the company gave the first ride in a fully self-driving vehicle on public roads in Austin, Texas. The second followed in 2018, when Waymo launched Waymo One— the first commercial, autonomous ride-hailing service in the United States — in parts of Arizona.

Waymo One has positioned the company as the leader in the autonomous-driving industry, according to the research and consulting firm Navigant Research, which in a 2019 report ranked Waymo first among companies developing self-driving technology in strategy and execution. And according to a report Waymo submitted to the California Department of Motor Vehicle, its safety drivers had to manually take over their test cars, because of safety concerns, about once every 11,000 miles in 2018 — the best rate of any company testing autonomous vehicles on public roads in California.

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Increasing the scale of its business is still a priority for Waymo, but so is expanding its scope into trucks, personal vehicles, and hardware sales. The company has