Waymo , a self-driving technology company with a mission to make it safe and easy for people and things to move around, has won the 2019 SEMI Americas Award. SEMI honored the Mountain View, California-based firm for leading the development of the first fully autonomous self-driving car and initiating a fully self-driving, ride-hailing service in Arizona in December 2018. The award was presented today at SEMICON West 2019.
The SEMI Americas Award recognizes technology developments with a major impact on the semiconductor industry and the world.
Waymo was the first to operate vehicles without drivers on public roads in 2015 and the first to introduce a group of vehicles without drivers in Phoenix, in 2017. Over the past decade, the Waymo fleet of autonomous vehicles has driven more than 10 million miles on public roads and more than 7 billion miles in simulation.
“We are honored to win the SEMI Americas Award in recognition of our work to bring self-driving technology to the world,” said Daniel Rosenband, compute lead for Waymo’s Engineering Team, who accepted the award on behalf of the company, a subsidiary of Alphabet, Inc. Waymo originated as a Google self-driving car project in 2009.
“With this SEMI Americas Award, we recognize and honor engineering and industry leadership, including outstanding achievements in developing new and emerging technologies expected to enhance the semiconductor industry,” said SEMI Americas president Dave Anderson. “Waymo’s leading-edge technology could achieve something astounding: Eliminate the 94 percent of traffic accidents involving human error or choice as well as offer new mobility options to millions of people.”
“The effort to develop a fully autonomous vehicle began in the 1970s and was accelerated by a DARPA sponsorship of a desert autonomous driving contest in 2005,” said Bill Bottoms, chair for the SEMI Americas Award Advisory Committee. “By 2015, the work to establish situational awareness and identify potential obstacles and unpredictable dangers resulted in an autonomous vehicle that is safe for public roads. This has initiated a fundamental change in our transportation system that is underway today and will make travel cheaper, safer, more accessible and more environmentally friendly in the decades to come.”
The SEMI Americas Award was established in 1979 to recognize outstanding technical achievement and meritorious contributions by individuals and teams in the areas of Semiconductor Materials, Wafer Fabrication, Assembly and Packaging, Process Control, Test and Inspection, Robotics and Automation, Quality Enhancement, and Process Integration.
Criteria were expanded in 2009 to include outstanding achievements in developing new and emerging technologies expected to add significant future value to the semiconductor industry.
The SEMI Americas Award is the highest honor conferred by the SEMI Americas region. It is open to individuals or teams from industry and/or academia whose accomplishments have a broad commercial impact and technical significance for the semiconductor industry. Nominations are accepted from individuals or teams with North American-based SEMI member companies. Nomination guidelines for 2020 and a list of past award recipients are available online.
SEMICON West is the culmination of eight progressive conferences that comprise SEMI’s inaugural Technology Leadership Series of the Americas. Year-long and held at strategic venues across the U.S., the series is designed to foster discussions about short- and long-term technology issues critical to the $2 trillion global electronics industry.
Platinum Sponsors for SEMICON West are Applied Materials, KLA, Lam and TEL. Other top sponsors include AEM Singapore, ASE, Burr & Forman LLP, Edwards, eSilicon Corporation and Silvaco.