Waymo, owned by Alphabet, Google’s parent company, will no longer use the term “self-driving”, instead switching to “fully autonomous driving”. The decision by the technology company to develop autonomous cars may come as a “movement” of how many might see it as a coup against Tesla.
The announcement of the company acquired by Alphabet in 2016 and which has been developing autonomous cars since 2009 appeared in a statement where it explains the reason for the decision. “It may seem like a small change, but it is important, because precision in language matters and can save lives,” argues Waymo.
In the statement, the company hopes that this decision “will help to differentiate the fully autonomous technology that Waymo is developing from driver support technologies”, with the company considering that it is often wrongly spoken about driving technologies autonomous.
In an apparent criticism of Tesla, the company leaves yet another comment: “Unfortunately, we see that some automakers use the term” self-driving “imprecisely, giving consumers and the general public a false impression of service capabilities, not fully autonomous.
This false impression can lead someone, without knowing it, to make mistakes that can jeopardize not only their own safety, but that of the people around them. The company gives as an example drivers who take their hands off the steering wheels of vehicles, but the truth is that this is something that Tesla makes clear that should not be done.
Waymo is referring to incidents with several Tesla cars. In 2016, for example, with the autopilot function, a model of the company was involved in an accident, leading to the driver’s death. However, an investigation has already concluded that the man who died in a Tesla Model S took his hands off the steering wheel for long periods of time, despite continuous warnings that asked him to take control of the vehicle.