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Ford's fourth-generation AV. Photo: Ford

Two weeks after Waymo opened up its driverless taxi service to the public in Phoenix, other autonomous vehicle developers are reporting progress, too.

Why it matters: The pandemic temporarily suspended on-road testing at many AV companies, but the past week shows they've been hard at work.

  • Cruise and its major shareholder, General Motors, said they will seek regulatory approval to deploy a limited number of Cruise Origin driverless shuttles in San Francisco.
  • Because the Origin has no steering wheel or pedals, the company may seek an exemption from motor vehicle safety standards for up to 2,500 noncompliant vehicles.
  • The effort comes one week after Cruise received a permit from California’s Department of Motor Vehicles to test driverless cars on San Francisco streets.

Ford plans to launch its self-driving commercial business in 2022 with vehicles based on the Ford Escape Hybrid crossover.

  • “With our fourth-generation test vehicle, we have everything we need from a vehicle to stand up our self-driving service,” John Davis, chief engineer of Ford’s autonomous vehicle subsidiary wrote in a Medium post.

Motional and Lyft resumed their robotaxi service in Las Vegas this week.

  • Motional is a joint venture between Hyundai and Aptiv.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Nov 20, 2020 - Energy & Environment

GM aims to take on Tesla with electric vehicle push

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

General Motors announced Thursday that it is increasing its investment in electric vehicles and autonomous tech to $27 billion through 2025 — $7 billion more than prior plans — as it seeks a top global position.

Why it matters: It's the clearest sign yet that GM is hoping to challenge Tesla, which dominates U.S. electric vehicle sales. It was already on, but now the competition for the electric vehicle market of the future is really on.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Nov 20, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Why Tesla's market cap is soaring far past GM's

Expand chart
Data: FactSet; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

Tesla is soaring past General Motors in market capitalization — even as electric vehicles remain still a tiny slice of vehicle sales and FM's overall sales far outstrip Tesla's.

Why it matters: Tesla's enormous market value helps to show how investors see vehicles with a plug as the future, even though internal combustion vehicles will dominate for a long time to come.

Biden transition names first Cabinet nominees

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden on Monday unveiled his nominations for top national security positions in his administration, tapping former secretary of state John Kerry as his climate czar and former deputy national security adviser Avril Haines as director of national intelligence.

Why it matters: Haines, if confirmed, would make history as the first woman to oversee the U.S. intelligence community. Biden also plans to nominate Alejandro Mayorkas to become the first Latino secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

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