For the longest amount of time, the self-driving car industry has been facing a major block in their way that didn’t allow them to really make any advancements anymore. Because of this, the industry has been quite stale for a very long time, but alas, change was needed, and this time, change manifested itself as a mutual settlement between the two biggest companies in the whole industry.
But before we get into this massive change and what caused the initial conflict to happen in the first place, how about we explain exactly what Waymo and Uber are and what’s the main difference between the two.
To put it bluntly, Waymo is basically an autonomous car developing company, while Uber is a ridesharing, food delivery, and transportation network company. The main difference between the two is the fact that while Uber does focus a lot on the invention of fully autonomous vehicles, Waymo takes it one step further by actually making it their one and only objective to “get the formula” before anyone else does. Because of this rivalry, this whole issue occurred in the first place. So without further ado, here’s what happened:
This whole sequence of events was triggered when the longtime Google engineer Anthony Levandowski resigned to start his own company, allegedly stealing thousands upon thousands of private records and vital technical documents with him which included the blueprints for the lidar laser sensor he had helped develop. This alleged thievery apparently completely took the company by surprise, and without all of those documents the whole industry started to fall apart from the inside. Anthony Levandowski allegedly also stole a ton of workers to work for his own company, thus leaving a huge dent in the company, making it impossible to recuperate anytime soon.
The more time passed, the more arguments started rising, and thus, more and more projects had to be postponed because of the lack of information regarding the projects themselves. The company has been in recovery ever since, and according to official statements, recuperating from this loss would have taken a very long time, and it would have made them waste a lot more time than anyone was willing to waste.
But alas, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi was tired of waiting, so she decided to do the one thing that she could do in this instance, aka buy Anthony Levandowski’s company. Uber gave Google’s sister company a 0.34 percent stake in its business (worth $245 million or $163 million) in order to buy their whole company. After doing this, the company has decided to still keep Anthony Levadowski in charge, and thus the mutual agreement was settled.
Now, what does that mean for the industry as a whole, you ask? Well, to be honest, it means that the companies can now stop arguing and instead they can work together to get things done faster. This might not seem like much of a progress, but trust us when we say it that the industry has finally gotten over a huge obstacle that they’ve had in their way for quite a while now and it’s now ready to finally make the much needed progress that they’ve been working on for years now.
With these two companies working as a whole, we can pretty much say that “the sky is the limit” for them at this point. They’ve shown a lot of promise on their own, but together they truly are unstoppable.
So, expect a ton of updates regarding their progress in the future, because for the first time in a very long time, the future of self-driving cars is looking promising.