Self-driving cars feel like they’ll become the norm soon as we’ve seen even a smartphone piloting a Porsche at Mobile World Congress 2018. While extremely cool, it’ll be a huge change for people used to driving cars and some are obviously wary. Have no fear though! With the newly released Waymo 360° Experience, you can experience self-driving cars first-hand! #automagic
After years of testing and a million miles driven in the last 3 months, the Waymo project from Google is now ready to put you in the driver’s seat. Metaphorically that is. The Waymo 360° Experience will take you on the roads from the perspective of a driverless Pacifica Hybrid minivan. An interactive video, you can use the mouse to drag the video to get different perspectives of the drive. On your phone, you can simply move your phone to get the different views. You can even use a virtual reality headset for a more immersive experience.
Within the experience, Waymo animates what the car is seeing through laser visualization. This visualization is actually a simplified view of how the Waymo sensors collect LiDAR data. The radar animations show how the radar waves bounce off surrounding objects to detect position and speed.
If you want to find out more about how the video was created, Waymo posted a great explanation here.
Back in November, the company was extremely close to launching a driverless taxi service. The Waymo 360° Experience will definitely help people understand and get more comfortable with self-driving cars!