At a time when self-driving cars are considered to be the future of transpiration, Alphabet-owned Waymo has decided to drop the term ‘self-driving.’ The firm said that it has decided to drop the phrase because few automakers are using it erroneously. Waymo said that it will now use the term ‘fully autonomous’ to describe its vehicles. It said that there is a minor difference in language but it means a lot. The company hopes that the change will differentiate it from other competitors. “The change may look very small but it is a very important one. Precision in language matters and could be life-saving as well,” the company said in a blog post.
While Waymo refrained from taking any specific automaker’s name, it is apparent that the move is a dig at rival Tesla. Elon Musk’s electric-vehicle maker is offering a feature for USD 10,000 that purports to offer ‘full self-driving capability.’ The company is facing heat over it as experts claim that it not only oversells the ability of the technology but also has the potential to create safety issues. Tesla claims that it has all the required hardware and the necessary software for the feature will come later. Experts define a “full self-driving” car as a vehicle wherein the person behind the wheel could safely fall asleep.
Tesla is yet to roll out the “full self-driving” feature for the public but it launched a beta version to some owners in October 2020. Those who have tested the feature are of the view that a lot of work is needed before that requirement of an attentive driver behind the wheel can be removed. Even Tesla has warned drivers to keep their hands on the wheel and pay extra attention to the road. But Tesla CEO continues to grandiose the feature and had claimed that the company will launch self-driving robotaxis in 2020, which didn’t materialize.