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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.

FTC releases findings on how Big Tech eats little tech

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: An Rong Xu/Washington Post via Getty Images

Federal Trade Commission chair Lina Khan signaled changes are on the way in how the agency scrutinizes acquisitions after revealing the results of a study of a decade's worth of Big Tech company deals that weren't reported to the agency.

Why it matters: Tech's business ecosystem is built on giant companies buying up small startups, but the message from the antitrust agency this week could chill mergers and acquisitions in the sector.

First look: Biden's economic case for green cards

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The White House Council of Economic Advisors (CEA) is promoting the economic benefits and costs of providing green cards to millions of unauthorized immigrants in a blogpost being released on Friday, according to a draft provided to Axios.

Why it matters: The post comes as the fate of millions of immigrants, including those with Temporary Protected Status or DACA protections, rests with Congress — and the Senate parliamentarian.

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