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Waymo’s CEO says Tesla is ‘no competitor at all’ when it comes to autonomous vehicles, according to reports

John Krafcik Waymo
Waymo CEO John Krafcik.

Waymo CEO John Krafcik said Tesla is “no competitor at all” for its autonomous vehicles, according to multiple reports citing an interview with Germany’s Manager Magazin.

“For us, Tesla is not a competitor at all,” Krafcik said, according to Ars Technica

He added: “We manufacture a completely autonomous driving system. Tesla is an automaker that is developing a really good driver assistance system.”

Waymo and Tesla did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Sunday. 

Read more: Early Rivian investors explain the 3 factors that could make the Amazon-backed startup the next Tesla

The two vehicle companies have sparred recently, with Waymo earlier this month dropping its “self-driving” description, as an apparent dig at Tesla. 

On its website, Tesla describes its Autopilot feature as being the future of self-driving vehicles “in almost all circumstances.” Among its features are eight cameras with 360-degree visibility, 12 sensors, and a forward-facing radar, according to the company. 

Waymo said in a blog post: “We’re hopeful that consistency will help differentiate the fully autonomous technology Waymo is developing from driver-assist technologies (sometimes erroneously referred to as ‘self-driving’ technologies) that require oversight from licensed human drivers for safe operation.”

elon musk journalists crowd no mask tesla construction
Elon Musk talks to journalists at the construction site of the Tesla Giga-Factory in Grünheide near Berlin.

In the Manager Magazin interview published on Friday, Krafcik said Tesla is “developing a really good driver-assistance system,” according to Bloomberg

Tesla’s website states: “All new Tesla cars have the hardware needed in the future for full self-driving in almost all circumstances.” Among its features are eight cameras with 360-degree visibility, 12 sensors, and a forward-facing radar, according to the company. 

CEO Elon Musk said last year that he was confident Tesla’s features could achieve “level five” autonomy, where human intervention isn’t required. Waymo had previously developed an Autopilot-like system, but reportedly scrapped it.

But Waymo’s sensor setup is “orders of magnitude better,” said Krafcik, according to automotive news blog Jalopnik. The difference, he said, is that Waymo is working on fully autonomous vehicles, while Tesla is only adding autonomous features to its vehicles, according to the report. 

“It is a misconception that you can just keep developing a driver assistance system until one day you can magically leap to a fully autonomous driving system,” said Krafcik, according to Jalopnik and Bloomberg. 

Waymo also has significantly reduced the cost of building an autonomous vehicle, according to the report. 

“The costs for the technology are greatly overestimated – at least in our case,” Krafcik said, according to Forbes

Read the original article on Business Insider

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