Waymo launches commercial self-driving service, expands outreach
Autonomous Vehicle Technology announces 2020 ACES Award Winner in Mobility Services | Autonomy category
After great fanfare and anticipation, Waymo’s long-awaited commercial self-driving service, Waymo One, began operation in late 2018. It was first offered to early riders who had already been using the technology, with gradual availability to a broader audience. Initially, trained drivers are supervising the vehicles, then fully driverless rides, which were already offered to early riders, are being phased in. To enhance the vehicles’ capability, Waymo’s engineers and scientists are applying advanced artificial intelligence and new in-house designed sensing systems to help the vehicles navigate complex weather conditions that are difficult even for human drivers. In addition to offering its mobility service, Waymo has begun a general expansion of outreach to other industries, partnered with new OEMs, began sharing its data, and expanded its public education on AVs. In March the company announced it is making its 3D LiDAR sensor, known as Laser Bear Honeycomb, available to select partners outside of the self-driving car industry—beginning with robotics, security, agricultural technology, and more. In June, it announced an agreement with Renault and Nissan to explore all aspects of driverless mobility services for passengers and deliveries in France and Japan. In August, in conjunction with bringing its self-driving Chrysler Pacifica and Jaguar I-Pace AVs to Florida to begin heavy rain testing, it said it would share its Waymo Open Dataset, which has been gathered more than 10 million autonomous miles in 25 cities, with the research community for free at waymo.com/open. To teach kids about self-driving, in September Waymo teamed with AAA Northern California, Nevada and Utah; Mothers Against Driving, The Foundation for Blind Children, The National Safety Council, and others to launch Let’s Talk Self-Driving. It is part of a campaign aimed about educating the public about how self-driving technology can save lives and make roads more inclusive by improving independence and creating new mobility options for more people.
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