Alphabet's Waymo tests fully driverless cars in Phoenix

08 November, 2017, 01:46 | Author: Franklin Nunez
  • Waymo's fully self-driving cars are here

Since Waymo began as a project in Google's "moonshot" lab in 2009, its vehicles have logged more than 5.6 million kilometres of autonomous driving on United States roads, according to the company.

The California DMV recently proposed a set of rule changes that would allow for companies to test fully autonomous vehicles on public roads, which followed new federal guidelines for self-driving vehicles that passed through the House of Representatives and now await a vote in the Senate. Little did we know at the time, they were already doing it.

But Waymo is taking human chaperones out of some of its driverless vehicles in Arizona, a significant step toward launching an ambitious, paid auto service to ferry around the general public.

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The company declined to say how many fully autonomous vehicles - beyond saying more than one - would be without a human driver behind the wheel.

But Waymo, owned by Google parent company Alphabet, said it no longer needed that protection - though at first one of its employees will ride in the back with customers. "Our ultimate goal is to bring our fully self-driving technology to more cities in the US and around the world". Once these measures have passed - and other self-driving companies have developed more road-ready systems - fully self-driving test programs could rapidly expand.

Krafcik said Waymo's cars have already driven autonomously the equivalent of 140 times around the globe, and in just the previous year have driven billions of miles in simulation. Waymo has partnered with Lyft but hasn't shared details on that deal. Our combination of powerful sensors gives our vehicles a 360 degree view of the world. We also have short range lasers that stay focused close-up to the side of the vehicle. "Getting access will be as easy as using an app; just tap a button and Waymo will come to you, and take you where you want to go".

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Waymo brought its driverless cars to Novi last month in a push to test the vehicles in snow, sleet and ice this winter. "Waymo's work here in Chandler is groundbreaking as they work toward their goal of fully autonomous vehicles", said Chandler Mayor Jay Tibshraeny, in a statement provided by Waymo.

"This research and development taking place in our community will ultimately make our roads safer and provide new freedom for those unable to drive". Typically, Waymo and other driverless vehicle startups use a human who's ready to take over driving duties in case of an emergency.

In April, Waymo announced it was expanding its fleet of 100 Chrysler minivans by an additional 500 vehicles and a test program - with operators behind the wheel - for families of non-Google employees to learn how people might use autonomous technology in daily life.

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