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Waymo News

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Last Updated: 02 July 2021

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Waymo said Thursday that it is opening its fully driverless ride - hailing service in suburban Phoenix to the public. Alphabet Inc. S Self - Driving car unit will begin ferrying a select group of few hundred customers, known as early riders, in vehicles without safety drivers in the summer of 2019. After receiving feedback from those riders, who were bind by non - disclosure agreements not to discuss their experiences publicly, company is making driverless rides in its Chrysler Pacifica minivans available to all users in the Phoenix Area. It is a really, really big deal, we think, for the US, and for the world, said Waymo Chief Executive Officer John Krafcik in a conference call with reporters on Wednesday. Its been five years since Waymo provided the first - ever passenger trip in a driverless vehicle on public road. The process of scaling technology, Krafcik say, has been arduous. It takes US two years to get three cars up and running at same time in fully driverless mode on the streets of Phoenix, says Krafcik. It takes another year to get hundred cars. Despite plodding Pace, Waymo remains an acknowledged industry leader and is the first company to offer pay trips in cars with empty front seats. Earlier this year, Waymo raised more than 3 billion from private equity groups and venture investors, first time it has taken funds from outside of Alphabet. In March, in response to the US outbreak of COVID - 19, Waymo paused passenger trips in Phoenix except for those without safety drivers. Before the interruption, company offered rides through its Waymo One App to about 1 500 customers in a roughly 100 - square - mile area southeast of Phoenix that includes Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa and Tempe. At time, according to Krafcik, 5% to 10% of more than 1 000 weekly trips were fully driverless. Beginning Thursday, any existing Waymo One customer can hail a driverless minivan from a fleet of more than 300. Vehicles will be operating in a smaller, roughly 50 - square - mile service area. Passengers are free to invite friends and family and to share their experiences on social media. Waymo plans to open service to new customers within a few weeks. At that point, Well have general access to anyone who chooses to download App, Krafcik say. Waymo plans to reintroduce safety drivers for some rides as it expands its Phoenix service area but is not allowing passengers in vehicles with safety drivers until it finishes installing barriers between front and back rows. For the next several weeks, perhaps month or more, every ride, 100% of our rides with Waymo One, will be fully driverless, says Krafcik. He declined to say when Waymo plans to introduce robo - taxis in other cities, but do hint at where it might go next: Wed love the opportunity to bring Waymo One Driver to our home state of California.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

A lidar guy's lidar guy

Waymo and Volvo this week announced an exclusive partnership to build a new self - driving electric vehicle for use in ride - hailing service. Few details were provided other than the goal of working together to develop a Level 4 vehicle capable of autonomy in a wide range of locations and road conditions. Waymo, Alphabet subsidiary, announced the partnership on its blog. Adam Frost, chief automotive officer Waymo, say: Volvo CTO Henrik Green added that partnership with Waymo would create new and exciting business opportunities not only for Volvo - badged cars, but also companys Polestar and Lynk & Co brands. Polestar - Volvos all - electric luxury performance brand - today announced that Waymos technology could help it create premium autonomous mobility services. Volvo and Polestar will both introduce new pure electric vehicles to the United States and Europe in 2020. The Polestar 2 electric sedan will go on sale in New York, Los Angeles, and the Bay Area this year. Ordering for Volvo XC40 Recharge EV open in January. Deliveries should begin in late 2020 as well. Both vehicles use a 78 kilowatt - hour battery pack to provide around 250 miles of range. The first deliveries of Polestar 2 arrive this week in Europe. Waymo and Volvo share a safety - first approach to autonomous vehicles. That contrasts with Teslas ' more aggressive stance toward faster deployment of technology. In May, Volvo announced that it would equip its next - generation vehicles with LiDAR, expensive sensor that has almost entirely been reserved for fleet - base robotaxis not passenger cars. But Volvo believes lidars robust capabilities can be applied to millions of vehicles for hands - off highway driving. Waymo has supplier partnerships with Fiat - Chrysler for Pacifica Hybrid minivans and with Jaguar Land Rover for I - Pace electric vehicles. And Volvo has a partnership with Uber to supply XC90 SUVs. However, new agreement with Volvo appears to go further, including development of new self - driving EVs. The nascent autonomous - vehicle industry is being reshaped by consolidation. Amazon, which is committed to buying 100 000 Russian electric vehicles, announced today that it is buying Zoox, self - driving car tech start - up, for 1 billion. Ford and Volkswagen made multi - billion dollar investments in Argo. General Motors purchased Cruise Automation in 2016, while Hyundai is working with tier - One supplier Aptiv to deploy robotaxi service in multiple global markets. A tie - up between Waymo and Volvo could reshape the competitive landscape, although it is too early to tell. Google started its self - driving program more than decade ago but paused development of its own vehicle in 2016. A tight partnership between Waymo and Volvo to develop ground - up cars, if that materialize, could put those plans back on track - this time with an established auto manufacturer known for high - quality production and safety. Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to podcast.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Expansion plans

The company, part of Google parent Alphabet, said Thursday it is opening up its driverless ride - hailing service to riders in the Phoenix metro area, enabling anyone in the region to download its app and hail ride without a driver in the front seat. It follows an extended public trial for companys ride - hailing service in which riders were able to use it for commutes, grocery runs and routine tasks, such as bringing their kids to school. During that launch period, Waymo say, it gradually expanded the service and capabilities of its vehicles, vast majority of which were monitored by human drivers. Waymo spokeswoman Katherine Barna said the company was giving between 1 000 and 2 000 weekly rides before the coronavirus pandemic, 5 to 10 percent of which were fully driverless. Companies across Silicon Valley are racing to make self - driving cars a reality, technological moonshot that would make the economics of ride - hailing much more lucrative by sparing the expense of human drivers. So far, progress has been slow as companies have delayed their rollouts and extended their timelines, confronted with the challenge of programming cars to respond to the near - infinite stream of scenarios drivers could face. The Pandemic throw further wrench into companies ' plans.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Rain, snow, humans...

For moment there, Arizona was place for autonomous vehicles learning to drive. It's logical starting point for experimental technology in its wobbly, Bambi legs stagethat like warm weather, little rain, and wide open roads. It easier for their complicated sensors to see there, you see. Arizona is, in other words, lot like California, without the aggressive Department of Motor Vehicles and its pesky regulations. Governor Doug Ducey has directed all state agencies to make it as easy as possible for fully self - driving cars to test in Arizona, no permitting or reporting require. But now autonomous vehicles feel ready for change, and challenge. That's why Waymo, Alphabet self - driving car spinoff, announced this week that it will begin testing its robocars in Michigan, along with suburban California, Austin, Texas, and Arizona. Wolverine State's freezing temperatures, snow, sleet, and rain make life far more difficult for autonomous vehicles at that point. If these cars are going to go anywhere, theyll have to be tested anywhere, too. For human drivers, mix of winter conditions can affect how well you can see, and the way your vehicle handles the road, Waymo CEO John Krafcik wrote in a media post announcing the move. The same is true for self - driving cars. To understand why these vehicles can have such a hard time in bad weather, first take a close look at their sensors. Today, most companies testing self - driving technology use a combination of radar, lidar laser scanners, and cameras. Radar works great in bad weather. Like Superman himself, it can see right through thick fog, rain, and snow. But its data isnt detail enough to let self - driving car navigate a complex world. Lidar, offers a far more detailed view of the world. Sensors send millions of infrared lasers out into the world every second, building a 3 - D picture of space around it by measuring how long each beam takes to come back after bouncing off the nearest object. Nasty weather can mess with that process. If a laser beam hits a drop of water on the outside of the scanner, lidar can think its object right in front of the vehicle and slam on the brakes, said Raj Rajkumar, who studies autonomous driving at Carnegie Mellon University. And youve see how camera footage looks in rain. Poor weather helps blind these sensors, too. Now, this does mean autonomous vehicles will be helpless in bad weather forever. It does mean that they have to be trained on data collected in adverse conditions, though. Companies move to cold climes to see if their technology can work there, but also to gather information on road conditions. Only car trains with data cull from ugly roads will be able to drive those roads. Researchers have to teach these things to handle particular driving tasks particular to bad weather, like how fast to drive when a sheen of ice is on the road, or when a car spins out, same way humans need to be teach.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Sources

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

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