Waymo in California has received a green light to further expand its testing to the roads of California. The Green Light comes in the form a Permit that will now allow Waymo to test its Self-Driving Cars on the roads of California. Waymo becomes the first company to get permits to test fully self-driving cars in California.
Prior to California, Waymo main testing ground was in Phoenix, Arizona. Waymo has completed millions of successful miles in test rides across the roads of Phoenix. The test rides actually took place with real passengers and a safety driver to take control in terms of emergencies. The cars, however, drove on their own. Yet another highlight of Waymo’s test rides in Phoenix was that of the Early Rider Program that allowed a considerable number of Phoenix residents to actually take test rides in the Waymo Self-Driving Cars. They could summon the cars directly using a Ride Hailing App installed into their phones.
Waymo is also planning to introduce the Early Rider Program in California. This will, however, be at a gradual phase with the initial test phases including only the Waymo Staff.
Waymo has been allowed to carry out test rides in the area highlighted in the map below. The area includes most of Los Altos, Palo Alto, Sunnyvale, and Mountainview. The permit also allows Waymo to carry out test drives both during day and night. Yet another interesting point is that Alphabet’s (Waymo’s Parent Company) Headquarters is also located at Mountainview California.
For starters, Waymo plans to start deploying their Autonomous Fleet in few selected areas and gradually move on to other parts of the Bay Area.
Waymo in California will be seen testing their Self-Driving technology through urban and rural roads and highways. They will also be seen testing through different weather conditions. The permission to test on different roads and weather conditions have been included in the permit.
To those who have safety concerns on Waymo in California, Waymo assures that Safety is their No 1 priority. Waymo also mentions that their Self-Driving Technology is constantly learning and adapting to new situations and cases. Their Self-Driving technology has already learned a lot from the 10 million miles of road rides and over 1 billion miles is the simulation. In case of the occurrence of any situation that the car is unable to understand, it will just stop.
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