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GM, Waymo pull out of CES 2022 over omicron variant considerations

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Common Motors and Waymo are the most recent corporations to cancel CES plans over COVID-19-related considerations.

GM CEO Mary Barra had been scheduled to present a keynote speech on the annual convention on Jan. 5, throughout which the corporate would have proven its electrical Silverado pickup for the primary time. Barra will nonetheless make the speech and presentation over the web, a spokesman mentioned.

“CES is a vital expertise platform, and we’re persevering with with our plans on Jan. 5 to share our vital firm information together with the reveal of the Chevrolet Silverado EV,” GM mentioned in an announcement late Thursday.

Waymo, the Google-affiliated autonmous driving firm, mentioned earlier Thursday it could not take part within the annual expertise showcase subsequent month, citing rising considerations over the omicron variant of the virus. Co-CEO Tekedra Mawakana had been scheduled to ship a keynote tackle 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 Vans, 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 tough determination to tug our bodily presence at CES 2022,” a Waymo spokeswoman mentioned Thursday.

Waymo mentioned in a weblog submit that it hopes to take part nearly if attainable.

GM and Waymo are the most recent corporations to desert CES plans within the face of rising COVID-19 infections. This week, Twitter, T-Cell, Amazon and Meta (Fb) mentioned they might not take part due to well being considerations. Expertise-focused media shops comparable to TechCrunch and The Verge have additionally withdrawn.

CES organizers carried out an all-virtual convention in 2021 however have up to now held agency within the face of the cancellations 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 they’d obtained 42 exhibitor cancellations since final Friday, whereas including 62 new deliberate exhibitors in the identical time-frame.

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

Reuters contributed to this report.

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