We’re almost there, guys! Waymo has “shaken” the autonomous industry with its latest announcement. The Alphabet company is at the point where their cars no longer need a human driver behind the wheel during tests. More importantly, that means they’re very close to launching the first commercial driverless taxi service #automagic
In the latest announcement from Waymo, it seems that the company’s testing cars are finally at Level 5 – full autonomy. They no longer need a human behind the wheel during rides across town. “Starting now, Waymo’s fully self-driving vehicles — our safest, most advanced vehicles on the road today — are test-driving on public roads, without anyone in the driver’s seat. To date, Waymo vehicles have been operating on public roads with a test driver at the wheel. Now, in an area of the Phoenix metro region, a subset of our fleet will operate in fully autonomous mode, with Waymo as the sole driver”, writes the team.
In fact, there’s proof for their claim. The Alphabet company released a video of a driverless car moving around the Arixona suburbs with passenger in the backseats and no human driver in sight:
After this smashing success, Waymo feels ready to take random passengers aboard: “Over the next few months, we’ll be inviting members of the public to take trips in our fully self-driving vehicles. Participants in our early rider program will be amongst the first to experience these fully self-driving rides”.
Also, they intend to launch an autonomous taxi service in Phoenix, after the testing period is over. That means that in mid-2018, Phoenix residents will have the pleasure to get to work in a cab that will mostly feel as their own, four-wheeled heaven (no noisy driver around).
Waymo’s driverless cars will hit other cities progressively, one at a time, letting people adjust to the change.