Google backed Waymo’s self-driving vehicles just crossed the milestone of driving 10 million miles on public roads. These millions of miles were driven in 25 cities across the United States: California, Arizona, Michigan, also from the high-speed roads around Phoenix to the dense urban streets of San Francisco.
Waymo’s progress on public roads is made possible by their deep investment in simulation. By the end of the month, the company will cross 7 billion miles driven in virtual world (that’s 10 million miles every single day). In simulation, one can recreate any encounter they have on the road and make situations even more challenging through “fuzzing.” Waymo can test new skills, refine existing ones, and practice extremely rare encounters, constantly challenging, verifying, and validating their software. The company can learn exponentially through this combination of driving on public roads and simulation.
Thanks to nearly 10 years of experience, and keeping safety at the core of everything, Waymo has been able to put the world’s first fleet of fully self-driving vehicles on the road. Safety is baked into how the autonomous cars drive today: these cars stay out of other driver’s blind spots, give wide berth to pedestrians, and come to a full stop at 4-way stops.
In Phoenix, Arizona over 400 early riders use Waymo’s app and ride in their cars, allowing them to get around town without the stress of driving and with the peace of mind that they’ll arrive safely.
The next 10 million will focus on turning Waymo’s advanced technology into a service that people will use and love. To best serve riders and make it possible for more people to benefit from this technology, they need to be safe and also capable, comfortable, and convenient.
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