John Krafcik, CEO of the leading Self-Driving Car company Waymo still loves to ‘Drive’ his cars. This might sound a little ironic considering the fact that John is the CEO of the leading car company in the Autonomous Driving Segment and is heavily involved in developing and refining the Self-Driving Technology.
In an interview with the CNN Business, most of which actually took place on a drive in John’s Porsche 911, he opened up a lot on his interest in driving. John has been holding on to his 911 for almost 25-years now. He mentions that driving his 911 may not be a perfect driving experience, but it is fun and that as a driver he feels connected with the road.
When asked the question on whether he would miss driving once all cars turn to self-driving, his reply was simple and awakening. To quote his response, ” You ask a room full of people, Do you love to Drive? most people would actually raise their hands. But when the question is asked in a slightly different manner – Do you love driving on your commute, most people are gonna keep their hands down. What John means here is that Driving as an interest or passion and Driving for commuting are two different things. Most people who love to drive may not always like to drive for commuting. Waymo just wants to take away that part of driving that people do not wish to involve. Commuting to and from the office is one such example. You may not always want to drive up and down your office, especially on days with a hectic schedule. To conclude, Krafick doesn’t see a time come up any time soon where Self-Driving Cars could completely replace humans.
According to John, this is the promise that Waymo brings to bear – you do not have to drive when you don’t have to and when you feel like driving you can just take up the controls and drive by yourself. The option to drive on your own is not going to be taken away any time soon. It will be a long time since Self-Driving Cars become a common phenomenon observed everywhere. That is still a long way to go.
Waymo is not a Car Company, but a company that develops Self-Driving Car Technology, he added. John also mentioned that the first applications of Self-Driving cars are close, but the Self-Driving cars as common phenomena that you see everywhere are much farther away.
John Krafick additionally mentioned that Waymo is a building a technology that has some restrictions placed on it. Geography being an example. Waymo is currently operating in a small part of Phoenix since they feel that that particular area is favorable for deploying their Self-Driving Technology. Waymo intends to slowly expand to Silicon Valley and Bay Area.
John Krafick’s car fleet includes 2 Porsche, a Volvo Wagon, and a Caterham. The choice of vehicles in his fleet further sheds light on the fact that he really loves to drive Old fashioned Sports Cars. John also has a long line of association with automobiles. He has a long history of working with some of the most prominent players in the Automobile Industry such as Ford, True Car, and Honda. He has been at various positions in these companies, starting all the way from being a Manufacturing Engineer at New United Manufacturing to the President of True Car, CEO, and President of Honda before being appointed as the CEO of Waymo.
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Source – CNN