John Krafcik, CEO of Google-spin-off Waymo, used this year’s Web Summit to announce the launch of the world’s first fleet of fully self-driving cars using public roads without anyone in the driving seat. Based initially in Phoenix, the cars will be available to participants in the brand’s early rider programme in the next few months.
As exciting as Krafcik’s revelation was, however, it was overshadowed by Uber chief product officer Jeff Holden, who revealed that the mobility brand was working in partnership with NASA to create a new air-traffic control system to manage low-flying, autonomous vehicles. Holden also announced that Los Angeles would be the third test city for the Uber Elevate project’s first services, scheduled for 2020. And the cost? ‘We’ll be able to offer you an Uber air flight for the cost of an Uber X trip on the ground,’ claimed Holden. ‘Of course, for that price you’ll be moving at 150–200mph.’