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Waymo pulls out of CES 2022 over omicron variant considerations

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Waymo is the newest firm to cancel its CES plans over COVID-related considerations.

The Google-affiliated firm mentioned Thursday it will not take part within the annual know-how showcase subsequent month, citing rising considerations over the omicron variant of the virus. Co-CEO Tekedra Mawkana had been scheduled to ship a keynote tackle Wednesday, Jan. 5., and take part in different actions in Las Vegas.

Additional, Waymo had deliberate to show its new Class 8 Freightliner Cascadia truck for the primary time. Constructed with redundant autonomous techniques in collaboration with Daimler Vehicles, the platform is a lynchpin of Waymo’s emphasis on self-driving trucking.

“Primarily based on shortly rising COVID an infection charges, we have made the troublesome choice to drag our bodily presence at CES 2022,” a Waymo spokeswoman mentioned Thursday.

Waymo is the newest firm to desert its CES plans within the face of rising COVID infections. Earlier this week, Twitter, T-Cellular, Amazon and Meta (Fb), mentioned they’d not take part due to well being considerations. Expertise-focused media shops like TechCrunch and The Verge have additionally withdrawn.

CES organizers carried out an all-virtual convention in 2021, however have to date, held agency within the face of the cancelations in planning for an in-person occasion in Las Vegas. They’ve made plans to require vaccinations for all attendees and masks within the conference corridor.

On Wednesday, previous to Waymo’s announcement, officers with the Shopper Expertise Affiliation, which owns and operates CES, mentioned that they had acquired 42 exhibitor cancelations since final Friday, whereas including 62 new deliberate exhibitors in the identical timeframe.

In a written assertion, the group mentioned the occasion continues “to point out sturdy momentum,” and that “CES 2022 will go ahead as essential innovation for world well being and security, mobility and fixing issues can be exhibited.”

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