Alphabet's Waymo tests fully driverless cars in Phoenix

Waymo's fully self-driving cars are here

Waymo's fully self-driving cars are here

Not anymore. The fleet of self-driving cars will at first operate in a limited area in Phoenix, but Waymo will gradually increase the coverage area to the size of "Greater London", it said, and add more vehicles over time.

The test program began last month near Phoenix, and the company hopes to soon open the rides up to members of the public enrolled in its Early Rider program. That type of system is actually stipulated by regulators in most areas where autonomous testing is allowed on public roads, but as the technology matures, rules are changing. He ticked off the ways driverless cars could be redesigned if the vehicle didn't need space for a driver: to ferry groceries, as a "personal dining room" or for naps.

Instances of people being killed in accidents involving self-driving cars will likely increase, argued Nidhi Kalra, leader author on a new study looking at self-driving safety. The test will take place in a small area at first, then spread to portions of five cities and 100 square miles in the Phoenix area.

Cooling temperatures and approaching rain chances
This will bring several rounds of unsettled weather with scattered showers on Tuesday and periods of chilly rain Wednesday . While temperatures remained around 60 degrees Sunday night , it will be much cooler tonight as lows drop into the 30s.

To date, Waymo has conducted 3.5m miles on United States public roads in a variety of scenarios. Ever since April of this year, the company completed extensive testing on the vehicles with the help of human riders to make sure the vehicle stayed safely on its course.

But Waymo isn't going it alone. Waymo has partnered with Lyft but hasn't shared details on that deal. In his speech, Krafcik enumerated the many advantages that Waymo's vehicles have over its competitors. Developers are still grappling with vehicle performance in snow or heavy rain. "Everything in it is designed and built for full autonomy". The lasers can see objects in three dimensions, up to 300 meters away.

At first, those passengers will be accompanied in the back seat by a Waymo employee, but eventually they will travel alone, although they will be able to hit a button to stop the auto.

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Waymo executives see removing the human backstop as a natural part of the evolution of their rigorous technology - and as a vital step in finally tapping all the commercial and social benefits they and other advocates of autonomous driving promise.

Over time it is expected that self-driving technology could dramatically improve the safety on our roads. With a tap of their phones, people will be able to summon "our fleet on-demand vehicles to do anything from commute to work, get home from a night out, or run errands".

Waymo competitors, including Uber have said ditching human drivers could remake the economics of taxi services, ridesharing and freight hauling. Autonomous pilots typically depend on safety drivers to monitor the road and take control of the vehicle in case the vehicle encounters a situation it can't handle.

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