Bardin stopped by Barron’s offices this week to discuss his skepticism about self-driving cars and why truly disrupting transportation requires behavioral change, not just new technology. Waze, which was acquired by Alphabet’s Google in 2013, currently makes money through in-app advertising, but the company recently launched Waze Carpool, a service that promises to match up drivers with riders headed in the same direction.
It’s an old-school idea with a layer of 21st Century technology. The payoff, Bardin says, is huge: shortening commutes, ending gridlock, and reducing pollution.
Here are excerpts from our conversation.
The Self-Driving Future Will Come...Eventually
The executive says the advent of self-driving cars may take longer than people think due to the technical and safety challenges of getting everything to work 100% of the time.
“Nobody knows the timeline...It’s way out there,” Bardin says. “Autonomous driving is the biggest engineering challenge of the generation. Going to the moon is easier than self-driving.”
Google-parent Alphabet, of course, owns Waymo, one of the leading autonomous driving outfits.
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