Geek of the Week: John Krafcik, CEO of Waymo

Waymo is a company that specializes in releasing technologies for self-driving cars. Initially known as part of a google project in 2015, Waymo excluded itself to become a stand-alone self-driving car company with its parent’s company as Alphabet Corporation. The company has continued to gain massive grounds in the market with a very wide gap between it and other competitors as it has clocked more than ten million miles driving autonomously.

John Krafcik, CEO of Waymo who is a Stanford graduate has formerly worked in automotive industries such as the New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc., Ford Motor Company, Hyundai Motor America and True Car, Inc. during which companies experienced massive growth. In 2015 however, he headed google self-driving cars unit and was awarded the Smithsonian Magazine’s American Ingenuity Award for Technology in 2018. After over a year of being a project at google, John started off the project as its own company, Waymo, and became its CEO.

As the CEO of a self-driving car company, John does not make it a hidden fact that he really loves to drive, and he also thinks it would be somewhat impossible to completely replace human drivers in all scenarios. He claims his invention is to do away with boring and tasking driving and not to do away with driving totally. He said, “You ask a room full of people: ‘Do you love to drive?’ and most people actually would raise their hand, but if we ask the question in a slightly different way, ‘Do you love commuting? Do you love driving on your commute?’ I think most people would say, ‘Eh, not so much.’”

Waymo’s driverless cars works with video cameras, laser and radar which works as the human eyes and sees and senses things in all directions during vehicle movement. There are also options for interaction with a uniformed officer on the road as a 24/7 hotline would be made available for calls to speak with the vehicles representatives to provide information on the vehicles. With so much progress, Waymo which has not yet been launched for commercial use, is already estimated to be worth a whooping amount of $175 billion which comes from its revenue potential from passenger ride services and licensing of its tech.

Although, John Krafcik acknowledges that his vehicles will need standby human driver’s assistance in cases of emergencies for decades to come, the 57 years old CEO is on a long-term mission to take the future of automobiles while providing a very safe and easy alternative for human drivers.