For autonomous cars, more public road mileage means more experience. It will increase their credibility, which is important especially in their development stage. Waymo is one of the companies developing self-driving technology that intensively conducts tests on public roads. The tech heavyweight has reached a new milestone with its autonomous vehicles that have driven more than 10 million miles in the US.
That was what announced by Waymo’s boss John Krafcik in a Medium post. So far the company has deployed its prototypes in 25 cities across the US to conduct self-driving tests. The tests take place in states like Arizona, Michigan and California; and cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles.
A lot of mileage is not only achieved by Waymo in testing on public roads, but also in its advanced driving simulators, which will clock more than 7 billion miles by the end this month. According to Waymo, its simulations help in accelerating the development of its autonomous vehicles by creating various challenges to enrich their experience.
Waymo has a big goal in the US, namely to operate an autonomous ridehailing vehicle fleet widely. The company currently has its pilot program running in the Phoenix, Arizona, area, where it lets 400 “early riders” to take rides in its self-driving vehicles. It aims to start similar programs throughout the US.
Waymo’s autonomous cars today are programmed to drive politely and alertly, but the company wants them to do more in the future; they should be able make maneuvers that normally can only be made by a human driver, such as merging smoothly with fast-moving traffic.
Regardless of all the great things that it plans to do in the future, safety is still Waymo’s top priority, even if it means making your trip a few minutes longer. The company also values its “riders’ time”. It will use all the “experience and feedback from people” in its autonomous vehicles to work on ways to make things “even more efficient”.