Stories by Rob Toews

Expert Voices

Startups pivot to AVs for farming, shipping and more

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Despite the greater hype around fully self-driving cars, a growing number of companies are developing AV technology for industries like agriculture, construction, mining and maritime shipping.

Why it matters: Many of these sectors use human-operated vehicles in structured, repetitive, non-public environments: Think tractors driving down rows of crops or pickups shuttling materials across a construction site. Applying AV technology in such constrained settings could offer a more straightforward path to market — and an equally compelling business case.

Expert Voices

Real estate is emerging as an AV battleground

Illustration of for sale sign with license plate that reads "4sale"
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

As leading autonomous vehicle companies seek to bring “robotaxis” to market, their competition could extend from AI-powered software into a new arena: real estate.

The big picture: Today's ride-hailing companies are software-only platforms. But as AV technology goes commercial, companies that plan to own and operate fleets of robotaxis — including Waymo and GM Cruise — will need considerable real estate footprints to store, clean, refuel and repair thousands of vehicles.