autonomous cars

autonomous cars

🔦 Spotlight

Waymo: Independent self-driving cars, that don’t need no (hu)man! We took a ride in one of Waymo’s self-driving cars and want to let you know what it was like. 🤖🚦🚗

Waymo One, is an autonomous ride-hailing service owned by Alphabet, Google’s parent company. In 2017, the company was the first to put fully self-driving cars on the road without any safety drivers. Since then, the robotaxi continues to expand its operations through Phoenix, San Francisco, and now Los Angeles.

We have good news and bad news from our ride. The bad news is, there was nothing super exciting to report. The good news is, there was nothing super exciting to report. No getting carsick because the driver had dreams of scoring a role in the 72nd Fast and Furious movie. No life advice about how I should read a self-help book and only eat between 1-2pm. This fantastically mundane experience began with a tap on the phone like any other ride-hailing service. Using an app, the user can put in a pickup and drop off location and the fully electric and autonomous vehicle will arrive.

When it arrived, a sleek jaguar equipped with 29 cameras, and lidar and radar sensors pinged us, and we were able to easily unlock it by pressing a button on the app. Everything after that was probably what you would expect. The car began with a safety video and a reminder to fasten your seatbelt which was played on a screen for passengers in the back. Passengers also had the convenience to choose the temperature and the music. Check out our instagram reel to see it for yourself!

So what are the perks of Waymo’s self-driving cars?:

  1. Passenger safety. Passengers, particularly elderly and women passengers, no longer need to worry about getting taken advantage of by a rogue driver.
  2. Decrease in ride fairs. Theoretically, self-driving cars will lower ride prices over time, and that will eventually increase more demand.
  3. Less human error. Waymo is using insurance data to make the case that its self-driving cars are safer than human drivers. Based on insurer Swiss Re’s data from over 600,000 claims and over 125 billion miles, driverless vehicles crash less often and damage less property than human-driven vehicles.

Century City is up next on the Waymo tour. Make sure to take advantage during holiday shopping and skip out on the headache that is Westfield Century City’s garage. 🌴🚗👍

🤝 Venture Deals

LA Startups

  • Heali, a five-year-old startup whose app helps users tailor their diet to address specific chronic conditions, raised a $3M Seed Round led by Astanor Ventures. - learn more
  • Divergent Technologies, a Torrance, Calif.-based software and hardware production system for industrial digital manufacturing, raised $230M Series D led by Hexagon AB. - learn more
  • Atlas, a 3D generative AI platform for game developers, emerged from stealth with a $4.5M Seed Round led by 6MV and a prior $1.5M Seed Round led by Collab+Currency. - learn more

LA Funds

📅 LA Tech Calendar

Have a fantastic Thanksgiving! Check back in two weeks to see what events are happening in December!

Thursday, December 7th

  • Amazon Ads Festive Fête: A Holiday Mixer - Amazon invites local marketing & agency leaders in the LA area to a festive gathering at TopGolf. Enjoy an afternoon of networking, food & drinks, and lively discussions to ring out the year. Secure your spot now as space is limited!

Have an awesome event coming up? Reach out to be featured on next week’s Newsletter!

📙 What We’re Reading

  • Read up on Upfront Partner, Nick Kim’s, top 50 most notable hard tech companies in LA . - read more
  • Tune in to a conversation between Scott Hartley, co-founder of Everywhere Ventures, and Minnie Ingersoll, Partner of TenOneTen Ventures, as they discuss how liberal arts degrees are never going away, and that fast-movers make the best startup CEOs! - listen here
Courtesy of Waymo

There’s no shortage of companies testing autonomous cars in Los Angeles and everyday it seems more enter the city with the goal of addressing its transportation needs through self-driving rideshares.

See our timeline below for key developments in L.A.’s robotaxi industry, starting with the launch of Motional’s L.A. facility and moving through the most recent developments in companies looking to bring robotaxi service to SoCal.

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For this week's episode of LA Venture, hear from Shahin Farshchi, partner at Lux Capital. Lux invests in emerging science and technology ventures at the outermost edges of what is possible. Farshchi has fascinating insight on automation, autonomous cars, AI and more.

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