Waymo will no longer use the term “self-propelled” which it believes is misleading

In a blog post by The Verge, Waymo announced that it would no longer use the word “self-driving”, which literally means “self-driving”, for “autonomous driving”. Without ever giving his name, the company appears to be targeting Tesla specifically to justify this change.

“It may seem trivial, but it’s a big change because linguistic precision is important and could save lives. We hope that the consistency will help differentiate the fully autonomous technology developed by Waymo from driver assistance technologies (sometimes incorrectly referred to as self-driving technologies) that require licensed human drivers to be monitored to drive. sure, ”writes the Alphabet subsidiary.

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Tesla Full-Self Driving is an update that allows drivers to take advantage of the advanced features of the autopilot system. Still in beta, a Model 3 recently made the trip between San Francisco and Los Angeles with just one human intervention, and that’s the whole reason for Waymo’s speech. On its website, Tesla explains that autopilot and full self-driving functions are “advanced driver assistance systems that improve safety and comfort at the wheel”. They cannot therefore be operated without a driver in the vehicle.

These terms can mislead motorists, and several autopilot incidents have been documented. In 2018, Tesla’s system was involved in the fatal crash of a Model S. According to Waymo:

“This is more than just an exercise in branding or language. Unfortunately, we are finding that some automakers misuse the term “self-driving”, giving consumers and the public the wrong impression of the capabilities of driver assistance technology (which is not fully autonomous). . This false impression can lead to someone unknowingly taking risks (e.g. taking their hands off the steering wheel) that can endanger not only their own safety but also those of those around them. The grouping according to standard terminology not only avoids misunderstandings and confusion, but also saves lives. “

Waymo’s system is very different from Tesla’s in that it doesn’t require a driver and is completely autonomous. In addition, Google’s sister company will build a replica of a city to test their vehicles.

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