Self-driving car companies’ first step to making money isn’t robotaxis


A WeRide robotaxi with health supplies heads to Liwan district on June 4, 2021, in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou.

Southern Metropolis Daily | Visual China Group | Getty Images

BEIJING — While governments may be wary of driverless cars, people want to buy the technology, and companies want to cash in.

It’s a market for a limited version of self-driving tech that assists drivers with tasks like parking and switching lanes on a highway. And McKinsey predicts the market for a basic form of self-driving tech — known as “Level 2” in a classification system for autonomous driving — is worth 40 billion yuan ($6 billion) in China alone.

“L2, improving the safety value for users, its…


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