Waymo brings driverless cars to US roads

For the first time, Alphabet subsidiary Waymo, formerly known as the Google Self-Driving Cars Project, is about to bring driverless cars to public roads.

So far, all “self-driving” test vehicles on US public roads have had human drivers at the wheel.

Without a human driver, testing on public roads is a big step toward building public acceptance of the autonomous-vehicle technology.

After more than eight years of development, over the next several weeks, Waymo will invite members of the public to take trips in its fully self-driving vehicles.

Since testing in 2009, Waymo’s autonomous driving system has accumulated more than 3.5 million miles on public roads in the US.

According to Madison.com, Waymo’s goals are to:

  • Give the public first-hand experience with driverless vehicles, with the aim to build enthusiasm and ease concerns
  • Learn how consumers interact with driverless cars, how people expect them to behave, and how they’ll be used
  • Signal to rivals, potential partners, and potential Waymo employees – that its technology has reached the point where it’s ready for this step
  • Prove to regulators that this kind of testing is safe.

Waymo is also using test software that adds a simulated 10 million miles of testing every day.

Written by Leah Alger