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On self-driving, Waymo is playing chess while Tesla plays checkers

A Waymo autonomous taxi in San Francisco.

Enlarge / A Waymo autonomous taxi in San Francisco. (credit: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Tesla fans—and CEO Elon Musk himself—are excited about the prospects for Tesla’s Full Self Driving (FSD) software. Tesla released a major upgrade—version 12.3—of the software in March. Then, last month, Musk announced that Tesla would unveil a purpose-built robotaxi on August 8. Last week, Musk announced that a new version of FSD—12.4—will come out in the coming days and will have a “5X to 10X improvement in miles per intervention.”

But I think fans expecting Tesla to launch a driverless taxi service in the near future will be disappointed.

During a late March trip to San Francisco, I had a chance to try the latest self-driving technology from both Tesla and Google’s Waymo.

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