Drive.ai, a well-known autonomous vehicle startup that has raised $77 million in equity funding, quietly replaced its CEO last month. Drive is one of three well-funded startups in the nascent industry to make such a change in recent months; the others are Comma.ai and Zoox. Drive disclosed the change in a Medium post, where now-former CEO Sameep Tendon said he was handing the reins to the company’s head of product, Bijit Halder, in order to bring more vehicles to the public. This summer, Drive launched an automated shuttle—which follows a specific loop, like a bus—in Frisco, Texas, as part of a pilot program.
One of Drive’s rivals in fixed-route automated vehicles, May Mobility, appears to be further ahead business-wise. May says it’s done 13,000 automated rides since last year and is generating revenue. Such companies are betting that by limiting the scope of automated rides, they can make faster progress than more ambitious efforts, such as Alphabet’s Waymo, to develop robotaxis that take people wherever they want to go in a particular area.