Alphabet’s (GOOGL - Free Report) self-driving project, Waymo, has been gaining momentum steadily in the autonomous vehicle market.
Notably, Waymo vehicles have driven more than 20 million miles since its introduction in 2009. The announcement was made at CES 2020.
This is a major milestone for Alphabet and will encourage it to invest further in the project. Moreover, the announcement reflects the efficiency and safety of these vehicles on road, which is a major positive.
This can be primarily attributed to Alphabet’s strong focus toward advancements in its AI skills and deep learning techniques in order to avoid any kind of mishaps on the road.
Additionally, these technical innovations have aided the company in completing the last 10 million miles within a year after completion of first 10 million miles, which took 10 years.
Waymo Initiatives: A Key Catalyst
We believe Alphabet’s growing initiatives related to Waymo have helped it in achieving the abovementioned milestone. In fact, per a Bloomberg report, Waymo’s robotaxis have taken more than 100,000 trips.
Moreover, these initiatives are likely to aid the momentum of its self-driving vehicles on roads.
Recently, the company launched Waymo’s ride-hailing app on Apple’siOS and made it available on App Store. This marked the expansion of its ride-hailing app, which was first launched on Play Store.
Further, the move is likely to continue helping the company in expanding user reach in the self-driving space, which in turn will aid in scaling up its commercial taxi service.
Additionally, Waymo’s partnership with Lyft helped it in making some of its self-driving minivans available to the latter’s customers. This has expanded its reach to Lyft users as well.
The company is also reportedly planning to introduce autonomous trucks to the Phoenix area.
Furthermore, Alphabet recently acquired Latent Logic, a British AI company that specializes in a form of ML namely imitation learning, which trains machines to perform actions similar to humans doing the same actions.
Thereby, the buyout is likely to make simulation technology of Waymo more advanced and realistic as imitation learning is modeled on human behavior of motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. This, in turn, will strengthen the behavior prediction capability of Waymo.
Autonomous Driving Lights Up CES 2020
All the abovementioned endeavors are likely to strengthen Waymo’s position in the booming autonomous driving market, which as per a report from Allied Market Research, is expected to hit $556.67 billion by 2026 at a CAGR of 39.47% between 2019 and 2026.
Given this upbeat scenario, companies like Intel (INTC - Free Report) , Amazon (AMZN - Free Report) and Yandex (YNDX - Free Report) among others, are also making every effort to capitalize on the prospects of this market.
Intel’s autonomous driving unit — Mobileye — has announced two new agreements in China and South Korea, with the SAIC and Daegu Metropolitan City, respectively. These agreements are likely to expand Intel’s global footprint in driver-assistance systems and autonomous mobility-as-a-service.
Further, at CES 2020, the company broadcasted a video showing Mobileye navigating through streets of Jerusalem, with the help of 12 on-board cameras and no sensors.
Meanwhile, Amazon is looking to reveal its plans regarding self-driving vehicle technology, connected cars and electric vehicles at this CES. Amazon Web Services (AWS) is expected to be the key focus.
Further, Yandex will provide demonstration rides in its self-driving cars with no driver on public roads of Las Vegas at the show. Further, the company is gearing up to offer autonomous taxi service in Detroit for visitors of the June 2020 North American International Auto Show. Notably, the service will offer wide range of self-driving vehicles.
Nevertheless, Alphabet’s growing autonomous driving initiatives are likely to help it in staying ahead of the curve.
Currently, Alphabet carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
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