Electronics and Semiconductors

Video: Take a Ride in Waymo's Self-driving Van

02 March 2018

Waymo, the autonomous vehicle division inside Google, has released a new video that shows the inner workings of one of its autonomous vans to give a bird’s eye view of the car as it travels public streets during testing.

The 360-degree video was shot in the metro Phoenix area in one of Waymo’s Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivans letting you see what the car sees using LiDAR, radar and cameras to navigate. Waymo says this view shows how the car’s electronics and systems see the world around it, recognize objects like other cars and pedestrians and predict what those things will do to plan a safe path.

The preview is interesting and gives a look at how we may all be using these vehicles in the future and what to prepare for when things go live, which may be as soon as 2020.

Waymo is accelerating its autonomous driving program with plans to launch a self-driving ride-hailing fleet later this year. Recently, the California Department of Motor Vehicles named Waymo the most advanced company in terms of disengagement rates in the state. Disengagement rate is when a test driver takes manual control of the vehicle while in autonomous mode because the car has issues navigating.

The company also has announced that it has reached the 5 million mile mark in terms of how many self-driven miles have been covered in more than 25 U.S. cities.

Waymo says it took six years for the company to reach the first million miles but it only took six months to achieve 4 million miles driven and only three months to reach the 5 million mile mark showing how it has upped its testing in order to roll out its ride hailing service this year.

Along the way, the testing has included different weather conditions and terrains such as snowy streets in Michigan, steep hills in San Francisco and desert conditions in Phoenix. Waymo is now driving as many miles in one day autonomously than most American adults drive in an entire year.

To contact the author of this article, email PBrown@globalspec.com

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