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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

Jan 29, 2021 - Economy & Business

Transportation's next big thing: flying taxis

Photo: Joby Aviation

The next big thing in transportation could be electric flying taxis — think of a drone crossed with a helicopter — that would ferry people and goods high above congested roadways.

Why it matters: Air taxis are billed as a cheaper, faster, cleaner mode of transportation, and an important link between remote areas and population centers. But there are still technical and regulatory challenges to overcome — not to mention public skepticism.

34 mins ago - Health

Pfizer begins clinical trial for Omicron-specific COVID vaccine

A health worker in Palestine preparing a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech's coronavirus vaccine on Jan. 24. Photo: Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Pfizer and BioNTech announced Tuesday that they have started clinical trials for a reformulated vaccine to protect against the Omicron coronavirus variant.

Why it matters: The rise of the Omicron variant has forced vaccine makers to reassess the effectiveness of their vaccines.

Retail stock traders power stunning comeback after deep selloff

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

Stocks staged a Patrick Mahomes-esque comeback Monday, after plunging for the first few hours of trading.

Why it matters: The remarkable recovery suggests that retail traders who upended markets over the last year — most notably during the GameStop bonanza that occurred almost exactly a year ago — continue to be powerful influence in the markets.

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