Waymo's self-driving car is ready for commercial service in San Francisco
After more than a decade of development, testing and simulation, the company is ready to offer you a self-driving car that can take you to your workplace.
It's called Waymo and it's about to make history with its self-driving vehicles . The subsidiary of Alphabet (which belongs to Google) has been testing its driverless cars on the streets of San Francisco for almost a year and could soon start operating to offer taxi service in a city with a lot of traffic. It could be the definitive proof that this type of vehicle needs to demonstrate that they can operate without problems in the troubled streets of cities inhabited by hurrying and indecisive humans who drive their own cars, walk the streets or ride bicycles.
Waymo began testing the Jaguar I-Pace in San Francisco in August 2021, offering free services throughout the city to hundreds of volunteers. The vehicles operated with authorization from the city, but it was necessary that there was always a safety driver sitting at the wheel in case of an emergency. According to the company, the trial period has been a success and has allowed it to make small adjustments to guarantee a safe and comfortable experience for its users.
Among the maneuvers learned by autonomous vehicles during this period is being able to get out of a dead end that, according to residents of the area, Waymo studied endlessly on 15th Avenue. As the senior manager Tekedra Mawakana explains in a company blog , the cars are prepared to operate without the safety driver: "Now we are ready to start introducing Waymo Driver in fully autonomous mode, without a specialist behind the wheel, in the city as an important step in our journey towards the implementation of a fully autonomous commercial service. We made this decision after carefully comparing driver performance to our safety assessment methodologies."
Although it has not been determined exactly when autonomous vehicles will start offering their commercial services, the company hopes to have news soon. Tesla with Autopilot and General Motors with Cruise (which also carries out tests in the city of San Francisco) also participate in the race to be the first to offer the service.
According to Waymo, 94% of car accidents are caused by human error. The introduction of autonomous systems promises to dramatically reduce deaths and injuries caused by traffic incidents.
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