Waymo has a massive lead in terms of self-driving cars. Waymo has been operating cars for free rides without drivers since November, 2017 in Phoenix, AZ. Waymo has been given legal permission for a commercial self-driving car service in Arizona.
California reports a key self-driving car metric which is the miles driven before the automatic driving systems are disengaged.
December 2016 through November 2017, the miles were driven and disengagement miles are
1. Waymo 5,596 miles without human drivers taking over. 352,545 miles in California during the period with only 63 disengagements
2. Cruise (bought by GM for $581 million). 1,214 miles on average between disengagements. 127516 miles with 105 disengagements.
3. Nissan disengagements on average every 208 miles. 5,007 miles and had 24 disengagements
4. Baidu disengagement an average rate of every 41 miles,
5. Nvidia disengagement on average at 4.6 miles,
6. Mercedes disengagements every 1.3 miles on average
Can Google use the money that they are bringing back from overseas to rapidly build a larger lead with self-driving cars?
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has been supplying the hybrid minivans for Waymo’s test fleet since 2016, initially with a 100-vehicle deployment and 500 more added in 2017. Controlling the cars is a self-driving system developed in-house at Waymo since 2009.
Waymo’s self-driving cars have already racked up more than 4.0 million miles driving around Phoenix, Arizona, many of those without anyone sitting behind the wheel.
Waymo is testing its self-driving cars in 25 cities across the U.S., including Atlanta, San Francisco, Metro Detroit, Phoenix and Kirkland, Washington.
Waymo’s self-driving cars are at Level 4 capability. This level of capability means the cars can operate on their own for extended periods of time, though within set conditions. Those conditions typically include requirements of highly detailed map data and non-severe weather.
Waymo has ordered thousands of new Chrysler Pacifica minivans from FCA to help populate its autonomous ride-hailing fleet.
Here is a Waymo safety report for 2017.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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