Waymo Begins Testing Fully Driverless Vehicles on Public Roads

Waymo Begins Testing Fully Driverless Vehicles on Public Roads

“After more than eight years of development, we’re taking the next step toward unlocking the potential of fully self-driving technology,” the company said. “Starting now, Waymo’s fully self-driving vehicles  –  our safest, most advanced vehicles on the road today – are test-driving on public roads, without anyone in the driver’s seat.

Google spinoff Waymo said it will begin testing its fully driverless vehicles on public roads.

“After more than eight years of development, we’re taking the next step toward unlocking the potential of fully self-driving technology,” the company said. “Starting now, Waymo’s fully self-driving vehicles  –  our safest, most advanced vehicles on the road today – are test-driving on public roads, without anyone in the driver’s seat.

“To date, Waymo vehicles have been operating on public roads with a test driver at the wheel. Now, in an area of the Phoenix metro region, a subset of our fleet will operate in fully autonomous mode, with Waymo as the sole driver. Over time, we’ll cover a region that’s larger than the size of greater London, and we’ll add more vehicles as we grow.”

To get to this phase in development, Waymo has driven more than 3.5 million autonomous miles on public roads across 20 cities since launching as a Google project in 2009, according to the company.

“At our private test track, we’ve run more than 20,000 individual scenario tests, practicing rare and unusual cases,” Waymo said. “We’ve multiplied all this real-world experience in simulation, where our software drives more than 10 million miles every day. In short: We’re building our vehicles to be the most experienced driver on the road. Finally, all our vehicles are equipped with the unique safety features necessary for full autonomy, including backup steering, braking, computer and power that are capable of bringing the vehicle to a safe stop, if needed.”

Over the next few months, Waymo will be inviting members of the public to take trips in its fully self-driving vehicles, the company noted.

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