With its position as a leader in autonomous driving technology development firmly established in the US, Waymo is now looking to Europe to expand its efforts according to statements made in Turin, Italy at the Automotive News Europe Congress by its CEO, John Krafcik.
Waymo, the self-driving car effort by Alphabet, parent company to Google, is very near to offering its self-driving car service in the San Francisco Bay area and Phoenix, Arizona and will likely expand its efforts beyond that soon.
"There's an opportunity for us at Waymo to experiment here in Europe, with different product forms, with different products and maybe even with different go-to-market strategies," said John Krafcik, Waymo CEO, in Turin.
The company's new focus on Europe will present several regulatory challenges as well as challenges with brand recognition, and as such, Waymo will likely work with a partner that is more established in the European market. Beyond that, Waymo is well established on the vehicle front to operate on the continent, thanks to its close relationships with both Jaguar and Fiat Chrysler.
"For the first time, we brought Waymo technology to Europe and demonstrated true Level 4, no-humans-in-the-front-row, fully autonomous, no-safety-net driving right here in Italy," said Krafcik, referencing a recent demonstration for FCA investors at the company's Balocco test track.
Krafcik also announced that Waymo had recently completed its 7 millionth mile of driverless vehicle testing on public roads, something which is an incredible achievement in and of itself.