Waymo would like to leave "self-driving" for the history books.
The Google subsidiary said it will stop using the term. Instead, Waymo says it will refer to its technology as "fully autonomous driving technology."
"This is more than just a branding or linguistic exercise," the company said in a statement. "Unfortunately, we see that some automakers use the term 'self-driving' in an inaccurate way, giving consumers and the general public a false impression of the capabilities of driver-assist (not fully autonomous) technology."
Clearly, Waymo is seeking to emphasize differences between itself and Tesla, which has muddied the language around autonomy by using "feature complete," "full self-driving" and "Autopilot" to describe systems that may still require oversight or involvement from a human vehicle occupant.
Neither Tesla nor any other manufacturer currently sells a vehicle with an active system that can take responsibility for vehicle operations.
Consumer confusion surrounding Tesla's use of "Autopilot" to describe a driver-assist system has been a concern for safety advocates who have pointed to a string of fatal Tesla crashes as warnings of what can happen when humans develop an overreliance on systems meant to assist them but not take responsibility for the driving task.