10 Trends That Shaped the Robotics Industry in 2022

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Self-driving cars hit potholes

The shutdown of Argo.AI is perhaps emblematic of the greater challenges facing the autonomous vehicle market. The Pittsburgh-based startup was backed by both Ford and Volkswagen but ultimately shut down in October because it was losing cash and could not bring in new investors.

Argo.AI, which was founded in 2016, had set a goal of launching a commercial ride-sharing business in 2021.

Ford and Volkswagen have said they will absorb the technologies developed at the company. Ford said it will instead focus on SAE Level 2 and 3 technologies, according to The Detroit News. VW said it will focus on its other autonomous vehicle technology, including its robotaxi service.

Building commercially viable self-driving passenger cars continues to be a major challenge as companies invest billions of dollars in the technology but cannot bring them to a mass market.

Cruise, which is backed by General Motors, is under investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Commission for braking issues and for causing traffic by blocking roads. The company has been testing its service in San Francisco.

Some players are having more success than others. Waymo, Alphabet’s self-driving company, offers Waymo One, its self-driving ride-hailing service in Phoenix, and has also begun offering rides in San Francisco.

Self-driving cars continue to hit snags, but their overall market value and potential are still high.

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1. Attendees eagerly return to robotics events

2. Consolidation continues

3. Layoffs took their toll

4. E-commerce demands come off of COVID highs

5. Self-driving cars hit potholes

6. Interoperability initiatives move forward

7. Humanoid robots take strides

8. Autonomous trucks roll onward

9. Cobots get stronger, expand into new industries

10. Delivery robots hit more college campuses

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