Waymo, the self-driving arm of Google’s parent company Alphabet, which pioneered the self-driving car business, says it’s done with the term “self-driving.”
Waymo says some automakers are using the phrase “self-driving” inaccurately, giving the public a false impression of what driver-assist systems are capable of. It will instead refer to its vehicles as “fully autonomous,” and hopes the shift will differentiate it from technologies meant to merely assist human drivers.
Waymo said. “This is more than just a branding or linguistic exercise. Precision in language matters and could save lives.”
Waymo didn’t call out a specific automaker, but for months it has clashed with Tesla, which sells a 10,000-dollar “full self-driving capability” option on its vehicles that experts have long said oversells the technology’s abilities and potentially creates safety issues.
The company says that the software necessary for the feature will come at a later date for most Tesla drivers.