Waymo removes the driver from self-driving auto tests in Arizona

Waymo removes the driver from self-driving auto tests in Arizona

Self-driving cars in Arizona are starting to navigate local roads without a human in the driver's seat. Waymo's cars will initially be limited to a 100-square-mile zone around the Phoenix suburb of Chandler, although that radius should naturally increase as Waymo undertakes more research.

Waymo, which is owned by Google parent Alphabet, said members of the public will begin riding in its fleet of modified Fiat Chrysler Pacifica minivans outfitted with self-driving technology in the next few months.

Waymo's fleet of autonomous vehicles is now prepared to drive on public roads without a safety operator, according to CEO John Krafcik, who announced the development onstage at the Web Summit in Lisbon.

The company also says it has redundant braking, steering, power and computing systems so it never has to rely on a human driver.

Waymo shared some footage of the fully self-driving Pacificas out on the roads, demonstrating how the vehicles can handle different driving responsibilities like stopping for pedestrians and stoplights, signaling to turn, and more. The company has certainly been testing self-driving cars on public roads longer than the broader tech and auto industries, and it has access to Google's machine engineering talent, making it a formidable competitor to companies with decades of car-building experience. Over time, we'll cover a region that's larger than the size of Greater London, and we'll add more vehicles as we grow. It completed its first successful test of a ride-hailing service two years ago, when it ferried a blind man in the Austin, Texas, area, and has since been testing its service with engineers in the front seats of its vehicles. Eventually it will go to whole metro area.

More news: Apple's iPhone X has higher margin than iPhone 8

The company said it has been testing its autonomous systems for the past eight years with more than 5 million miles logged on public roads.

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.

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.

Last week, US auto retailer AutoNation Inc announced a multiyear partnership for vehicle maintenance and repairs for Waymo's self-driving car operations.

Waymo is hoping to infuse its technology into ride-hailing services such as its current partner, Lyft, and big-rig trucking companies. The testing started October 19 with an automated Chrysler Pacifica minivan in Chandler.

Related Articles

  • Disney Held Talks to Buy Most of Fox

    Disney Held Talks to Buy Most of Fox

    Instead, it could refocus its business around a core group of news and sports assets like Fox News and Fox Sports 1. Disney already owns the ABC television network and, with ESPN, is Fox's biggest rival in the cable sports business.
    Jameis Winston To Miss

    Jameis Winston To Miss "A Couple Of Weeks" With Injured Shoulder

    This will be the first time in 40 career National Football League games that Winston will miss a start. Ryan Fitzpatrick would be the team's starter without Winston, and Griffin would backup Fitzpatrick.
    Catalan leader surrenders to Belgian police

    Catalan leader surrenders to Belgian police

    But Mas said the main goals of secession supporters must be recovering self-rule and the release of the jailed separatists. A judge ordered jail for eight ousted members of the Catalan government on November 2.
  • Japan's 'black widow' serial killer gets death sentence

    Japan's 'black widow' serial killer gets death sentence

    The judge said that her acts were serial murders by poisoning with the aim of acquiring inheritances or escaping from debts. First diagnosed with mild dementia in 2016, Kakehi said she had trouble remembering events shortly after her arrest.
    United Kingdom  vehicle  sales slump 12% on low consumer confidence

    United Kingdom vehicle sales slump 12% on low consumer confidence

    The UK new vehicle market saw another month of decline - and is down year-on-year - on the back of poor diesel sales. The latter - which accounts for hybrid and electric vehicles - now accounts for 5.2% of the market overall.
    Gunman kills 27 during Sunday church service in Texas, shooter dead

    Gunman kills 27 during Sunday church service in Texas, shooter dead

    Keeping all harmed in Sutherland Springs in our prayers and grateful for our courageous first responders on the scene. Devin Keen, another local officer, said "there were kids involved" in the shooting, including a two-year-old.
  • United States  judge stuns with prison term for rapper Meek Mill

    United States judge stuns with prison term for rapper Meek Mill

    Other celebrities who shared their reactions to Mill's prison sentence include Kevin Hart and T.I. The rapper was immediately taken into custody with no time to get his affairs in order.
    Broadcom makes $105 billion offer for chipmaker Qualcomm

    Broadcom makes $105 billion offer for chipmaker Qualcomm

    Perhaps the most important new news on the bid is that Qualcomm is expected to reject this deal as it undervalues the company. According to CNBC , Broadcom brought the offer to Qualcomm privately more than a year ago but was rebuffed.
    Zimbabwe's Mugabe sacks vice-president Mnangagwa

    Zimbabwe's Mugabe sacks vice-president Mnangagwa

    Mnangagwa had been vice president since 2014 when his predecessor, Joice Mujuru, was sacked for allegedly plotting to oust Mugabe. At the weekend, both Mugabe and his wife used political rallies to suggest that Mnangagwa would be fired.
  • Google Is Adding Restaurant Wait Times to Search Results

    Google Is Adding Restaurant Wait Times to Search Results

    Here, you'll see the estimated wait time for the current time, as well as for other time periods. Average wait times for about 1 million restaurants are coming to search results on Tuesday.
    Conte insists Luiz omission in United win was tactical

    Conte insists Luiz omission in United win was tactical

    FC runs through the five most significant conflicts Conte has become involved in during his time at Chelsea . The Italian added: "This can happen to every one of my players, if I see that they are not in good form.
    Carter Page testifies he told Sessions about Russian Federation  trip

    Carter Page testifies he told Sessions about Russian Federation trip

    He added that he had "mentioned" the July 2016 trip "to a few other people", but Page declined to be more specific. The email, dated March 24, 2016, was highlighted Papadopoulos' plea agreement announced Monday.