After five and a half years of instructing Alphabet’s subsidiary Waymo to develop autonomous driving technology, John Krafcik decided it was time for others to run the company. In fact, this will be the two executives of Waymo, Tekedra Mawakana and Dmitri Dolgov, who will become the company’s co-CEOs.
Krafcik explained his decision to resign as CEO in a blog post, but remained at Waymo as a consultant. He wrote: “Now, the fully automated Waymo One is open to everyone in our Metro Phoenix launch area. Ride services and the fifth-generation Waymo Driver are preparing to be deployed in ride services and cargo distribution. This is an excellent opportunity for me to hand over the baton to Tekedra and Dmitri as the co-CEO.”
Tekedra Mawakana assumed the top position after joining Waymo and serving as chief operating officer for four years. Dmitri Dolgov started his career when he founded Waymo in 2009 when the company was founded and known as the Google self-driving car project. After serving as Waymo’s Chief Technology Officer, he became the co-CEO.
In a joint statement sent to Waymo employees, Mawakana and Dolgov wrote: “We are committed to building, deploying, and commercializing the Waymo driver with you, and driving the success of our incredible team and this company. Moving forward. Roads and opportunities.”
Waymo has become a leading developer of autonomous driving technology. It has driven more than 20 million miles on public roads and more than 20 billion miles in simulations, but the company’s conservative approach to expanding operations makes those who want to see self-driving Feel frustrated with vehicles all over the country. This deliberate approach was an important part of Krafcik’s tenure as CEO.
In meetings with reporters, Krafcik will regularly emphasize the importance of Waymo’s self-driving cars to be as safe as possible. In March 2018, after a pedestrian was hit and killed by a test Uber self-driving car on a public road in Arizona, Krafchik told CNBC, “One of our responsibilities at Waymo is to ensure that the world is The regulators in the cities that perform are also aware of our technology.”
Since 2017, the Waymo One autonomous ride service has been providing ride services in the Phoenix area. It has evolved from a pilot program with limited pre-selected customers to a ride-hailing service that utilizes a fleet of vehicles that is open to the public. Vehicles traveling without a driver Although Waymo has discussed extending the Waymo One autonomous ride plan to other cities for public use, the company has not yet given a clear plan.
At the same time, Waymo Via, which is designed to automatically move goods, is being tested in cargo hubs in Arizona and Texas. At the end of last year, Waymo and Daimler’s Freightliner reached an agreement to develop fully automated trucks.
–CNBC’s Meghan Reeder wrote this article.