Waymo’s CEO, John Krafcik told reporters that the company’s highly anticipated self-driving car is almost ready to be launched. The Google’s autonomous driving spinoff company recently invited more than 30 reporters to the company’s private test site to get the firsthand experience of commuting in a totally driverless car.
Waymo’s test facility is located around 120 miles to the southeast of San Francisco. The reporters were invited as the company’s effort to tell the public that the development of Waymo’s self-driving car technology is currently on the right track. And once it is ready to be launched, the car will be able to move without human assistance at all.
The reporters were taken on a tour in a Chrysler Pacifica minivan that was equipped by Waymo’s self-driving technology. It is reported that the driverless car was able to smoothly ride on the suburbs as well as the highway without any human on the driver’s seat and all the passengers sat comfortably on the back. The car successfully moved in various driving conditions with up to 35 mph of speed. However, despite of the fact that test in San Francisco was a success, it seems like Waymo still needs to do some more safety tests. This is because in a similar test conducted in Phoenix, a safety driver still sat on the driver’s seat to take over in case something went south with the self-driving system.
Even though the CEO has said that the arrival time of the car is close, he didn’t provide any specific time. Krafcik further added that the launching will happen when the company is totally ready and the tests show that the car can safely transfer passenger without any human intervention. Google, later Waymo, has developed its driverless vehicle technology since 2009 and it was soon followed by other giant automakers. So, as one of the pioneers, Waymo certainly doesn’t want to make any mistakes and will not make a move until everything is completely set. (/penuliscontent)