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Self-Driving Industry Takes to the Highway After Robotaxi Failure

By Financial Times

July 24, 2020

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The autonomous vehicle industry is refocusing on more-profitable opportunities after efforts to commercialize robotaxis failed to live up to the hype.

Harvard University's Ashley Nunes said, "Bringing [self-driving] tech to market will require fundamentally rethinking the concept by scaling back where and how the tech can be deployed and the types of returns investors can expect."

Practical services garnering interest include grocery delivery and automated warehouse robots.

Autonomous vehicle startups see potential in the U.S. trucking industry; one concept involves building transfer hubs near highways to where drivers would deliver freight to a self-driving truck that would carry it to the next hub for hand-off back to humans.

Passenger-only cars are another area of interest for highway-only autonomy, as LiDAR companies team with automakers to build more affordable units at scale.

From Financial Times
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