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While Google withdraws autonomous vehicles, Mercedes Benz reinforces its combustion vehicles.

In recent years, automotive technology has experienced significant advancements, but it has also faced challenges that hinder progress toward the future. An example of this can be seen with Waymo, the autonomous car division of Alphabet (Google’s parent company). On February 13th, Waymo issued a recall of its vehicle software after two of them collided with the same truck in Phoenix, Arizona.

Both incidents occurred minutes apart. Waymo vehicles encountered a tow truck hauling a pickup truck in an unusual position. Due to the vehicles not recognizing their surroundings and misinterpreting the truck’s actions, it resulted in a collision with the truck.

En la imagen se muestra una simulación de un hombre conduciendo

The company notified local authorities and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) about the incident. Additionally, it conducted a software update across its fleet between December 2023 and January 2024. Waymo also determined the need for a voluntary recall, emphasizing its commitment to safety and transparency in implementing its technology.

While the industry defends its safety potential, events like this highlight the challenges of autonomous vehicles in unusual situations. This announcement from Waymo follows similar incidents, such as the one involving Cruise, General Motors’ autonomous driving subsidiary in San Francisco last year, where a vehicle struck a pedestrian and clear information about the incident was not provided to authorities.

Mercedes Benz reinforces its combustion vehicles

Mercedes-Benz delayed its electrification goal by five years. The company now aims for electric vehicle sales, including hybrids, to represent up to 50% of the total by 2030, compared to the previous target of reaching 50% by 2025.

This adjustment reflects the imbalance between investment in electric vehicle technology and actual demand. The company’s CEO noted that even in Europe, sales of fully electric vehicles may not peak by 2030, as they currently represent only 11% of sales, and 19% if hybrids are included in total sales.

The company asserts its readiness to continue offering combustion vehicles and to update its technology well into the next decade. Current update plans provide a vision of a new range by 2027, supporting the company’s confidence in its future position. The news was well-received by investors, with a 5.9% increase in Mercedes-Benz’s shares, further supported by a €3 billion share buyback program announced on Wednesday.

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