Professor of robotics at Carnegie Mellon University, Raj Kumar says, “Waymo is stumbling and bumbling. Right now it looks like it’s moving toward nothing.”
Waymo is part of the parent company Alphabet. However, the company now plans to raise $4 billion and eventually list it publicly. Here the questionable incidents are not just the amount the company plans to raise, but also the number of executives it keeps on hiring.
Concerns about its strategies
The technology isn’t even ready yet, and the company is still at the stage of worrying about which executive to hire. This year, since February Waymo lost six executives, which includes John Krafcik. He was among the few who stayed the longest in Waymo, and his departure came as a shock.
Since 2017, the company has given multiple promises of self-driving cars. Each time, John Krafcik was the one to point out that they are finished with the product. And only a couple of months far from providing their service where a customer is being transported from one place to other.
However, as he quit in April, more people are questioning the stance of Waymo. Other than the testing cars in Pheonix, there haven’t been major progressives.
On the other hand, Alphabet has been tightening its budgets other than the Waymo segment. As recent as Wednesday, Alphabet’s shares gained 1.3% valuing $2,271.50.
Waymo’s previous funding
Besides its parent company, Waymo raised a $2.25billion financing round. Then, the investment came from some automotive companies and Silver Lake Management LLC. Though the last year’s funding was later increased to $3.25 billion, this time such positive results seem unlikely.
Only in April, the company said they are open to further investments. As said by a senior analyst at PitchBook, “It just signals that developing this technology continues to be capital intensive. The enthusiasm may be greater outside its parent company than inside.”
On the contrary, John Krakcik is still an advisor for the company. The autonomous driving system, especially when it involves the safety of humans is taking time. Every other company working towards the autonomous driving system, including Tesla, is all in the delay. Furthermore, for robotaxis the car is supposed to be cheaper. It is a challenge while the car uses LiDAR system, needing more lasers beans all around the car.
Building a commercial vehicle that is autonomous is a new era, and not one autonomous driving system produced currently is safest. Except for Tesla, which partially is getting better with each version update of FSD Beta.