Self-Driving Cars
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Self-Driving Cars

Kyle Vogt’s Insight

Timothy B. Lee, one of the top journalists covering self-driving technology, just published an article in Ars Technica that asks the question, “Why hasn’t Waymo expanded its driverless service?”

Lee covers several different possibilities, from the cost of remote operations staff, to the difficulty of serving areas like Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport and Arizona State University. Ultimately, he zeros in on a theory he calls, “Kyle Vogt’s Insight.”

Credit to Lee, who owns up to some early skepticism of that theory — skepticism Lee now admits may have been misplaced.

The whole article is worth a read. It’s a fascinating thought exercise by one of the most informed thinkers in the industry.

To be sure, nobody outside Waymo knows why they haven’t expanded Waymo One since they launched last year. Perhaps they’re going to announce a huge expansion any day now.

But if Lee’s hypothesis is correct, then Kyle Vogt’s contrarian insight will go down as one of the canonical contrarian technology decisions — non-consensus and right — in Silicon Valley history.

Originally published at on May 7, 2021.



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