Google’s new robot taxi has no steering wheel

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Google just unveiled its very first autonomous robot taxi in Los Angeles. It was designed with the Chinese company Geely.

Waymo is a subsidiary of the company Alphabet, the name given to the group that runs Google, among others. This division allows Google to better control the development of its projects and launch in many areas without taking the company’s name with it. During a recent presentation in Los Angeles, the brand announced that it is collaborating with the luxury company Zeekr of the Chinese Geely.

With this first concept, Waymo presents its prototype robot taxi. The car is built without a steering wheel, suggesting it will be fully autonomous. Today, Waymo is already using cars to run errands in a handful of cities like San Francisco or Los Angeles. It is estimated that there are already 600 self-driving cars on the road in the United States.

This partnership with Geely enables Waymo to produce its first-ever self-driving car. Although it is still only a concept car, the brand hopes to be able to go into production and offer races soon with its self-driving car. This partnership with the Chinese manufacturer, announced at the end of 2021, allows the Google subcompany to think big.

Geely: anything but a newborn

Geely is not well known in Europe, but the group has several big names in the automotive industry. Brands such as Volvo or Lotus in particular belong to this Asian company. Since the acquisition of Aston Martin by Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll, the group even has an interest in the silent English sports car company.

This partnership with Waymo therefore allows the Geely group to enter an entirely new market, that of robot taxis. While many companies are currently designing such a vehicle, the product of this collaboration between Google and Geely seems to have paid off.

A self-driving car on the road in 2024?

With the Zeekr M, which will be presented on the same day as the Waymo One Zeekr, the Chinese brand is even thinking of being able to produce its car on a large scale in 2024. In terms of autonomy, the car should be able to last for 16 years. hours on the road before the battery is completely empty.

This figure is still a very broad estimate and it will be necessary to wait for the first laps of these two concept cars to know the real autonomy of such a robot taxi. With its state-of-the-art on-board computer system, Google’s car could have a very limited range of no more than 50 or 100 kilometers.

At the moment we know very little about the design of this car, but the two brands assure that they will soon give more details about the technique used to make such a car. In terms of design, it is reminiscent of Amazon’s Zoox.

Google, Amazon, Apple: do we take the same and start over?

Today, this concept car hasn’t rolled out yet, but the e-commerce giant plans to speed things up. In competition with Google for many services, the two new tech giants could find another GAFAM in the robotic taxi and self-driving car market.

Apple has been designing its own car for several years now. No information has yet been formalized by the apple on this subject, but various rumors expect the market to explode around 2024 or 2025.

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