autoevolution

Waymo Cars Drive Themselves Over the 10 Million Miles Mark

At a time when most car and tech companies are just beginning to scratch the surface of fully autonomous driving, Waymo is light years ahead.
Waymo driverless cars drove over 10 million miles on public roads 1 photo
Photo: Waymo
Founded some nine years ago as the Google Self-Driving Car Project, Waymo is now in the position of single-handedly changing the automotive industry, pretty much just as SpaceX has revolutionized space exploration.

Having paved the way for all others to follow, Waymo celebrated this week the 10 millionth mile driven without any human in control of its cars. These miles were driven on public roads in 25 cities across the U.S., as the company’s CEO John Krafcik says in a blog post.

The widespread testing program of the technologies deployed in the Waymo cars allowed for them to be subjected to all types of weather and traffic conditions.

While actual cars do actual driving in the real world, Waymo simulators crunch a much higher number of miles, this time in virtual reality. According to Krafcik, by the end of the month, Waymo simulators would have driven cars over 7 billion miles of virtual roads.

So where is all this going? Towards a driverless future, of course, one populated with tens of thousands of cars branded Waymo, that would form a fleet of electric transporters for a ride hailing service.

Actual testing of this ride hailing solution has already commenced in Phoenix, Arizona, where 400 people use Waymo’s driverless cars on a regular basis.

“While we’ve made great strides thanks to these 10 million miles, the next 10 million will focus on turning our advanced technology into a service that people will use and love,” says Krafcik.

“Over the next 10 million miles, our journey will take even more riders to even more places, in cars that are safe, in addition to being more capable, comfortable, and convenient.”

So, like it or not, driverless cars are coming, possibly sooner than expected.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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