Waymo, Google’s autonomous car division, has had a busy 2018.
This summer the company celebrated its first year of offering self-driving car rides to users in its early riders program in the Phoenix area. Prior to that, the company formed an agreement with Jaguar to develop autonomous vehicles. It also demonstrated how people who ride in self-driving cars can do other things rather than driving, like sleeping.
Waymo recently announced its self-driving vehicles have traveled more than 10 million miles on public roads.
The miles were driven across 25 cities in the United States in states including California, Arizona and Michigan.
Waymo said it will also be surpassing seven billion miles in a virtual, simulated environment to test new skills, refine existing skills and practice rare encounters in order to fine-tune software. Rare encounters consist of the difficult, unusual situations that make driving perilous.
The next 10 million miles will focus on turning Waymo’s technology into a service for actual use. The other goal is to implement new driving capabilities so the vehicles can drive to more places. Waymo also intends to advance the artificial intelligence and in-house-designed sensing systems to navigate complex weather conditions such as heavy rain or snow.