From the Google self-driving car project that started in 2009 to Waymo in 2017, this self-driving car project has matured. From the beginning, this project was designed to improve our mobility and make our roads safer.
The Google self-driving car project became Waymo, which is an independent self-driving technology company that shares and moves forward with Google’s original vision.
Recap of The Google Self-Driving Car Project
When the project started in 2009 Google started with a Toyota Prius which was used to drive uninterrupted 100-mile routes.
In 2012 Google added a Lexus RX450h and tested the technology on freeways with test drivers. They also began testing on city streets in Santa Clara, CA under real world conditions.
In 2015 the project found Google designing their own self-driving vehicle known as “Firefly”. Equipped with sensors and computers and no steering wheel or pedals and no driver.
In 2016 after millions of test miles were driven the Google self-driving car project became Waymo. Currently, over 3 million real miles have been driven as well as over a billion miles in simulators the company feels ready for the next step. Test driving in four US cities is ongoing and include;
- Kirkland, WA
- Mountainview, CA
- Metro Phoenix, AZ
- Austin, TX
The Waymo website does a good job of explaining the technology which is made up of a combination of sensors, computers, and software. Check it out here: https://waymo.com/tech/
The next first step for the company has been announced as a Public Trial in Phoenix, AZ. Beginning with 100 cars with plans to increase the fleet to 600 cars. The Waymo website explains how the Public Trial works.
“As an early rider, you’ll be able to use our self-driving cars to go places you frequent every day, from work to school, to the movies and more. Then, you’ll be able to share your thoughts and experiences with our team to help shape the future of how our self-driving cars will work.
We’re searching for early riders in parts of the Phoenix metropolitan area, including Chandler, Tempe, Mesa and Gilbert. Come join us in making it safer and easier for everyone to get around!”
You can signup for the public trial at waymo.com/Apply
If you participate in the Waymo Public Trial, drop us a line in the comments field below and let us know how it goes.
Check out this Keynote to learn more.