Self-driving cars are nothing new, learn key facts about Waymo through this article
Founded in late December, 2016, Waymo is a relatively new company much to the surprise of consumers given recent media coverage. With autonomous driving technology continuously evolving, companies like Waymo continue to be in the news. Waymo has already come under scrutiny for a pedestrian collision but their testing and development continues, soon Waymo will be a name synonymous with Google which everyone knows.
What does Waymo stand for?
Quite simply, Waymo stands for a new way forward in mobility. They have a mission to provide safe and easy transportation for users through autonomous vehicles. It’s not as simple as putting a robot in the front seat but a series of computers, sensors, radar and actuators control the vehicle to get from point a to point b.
Is Waymo owned by Google?
Yes, Waymo is the newly minted Google self-driving car project. Google (Alphabet Inc.) renamed the project to Waymo and became a stand alone limited liability corporation. This was a calculated move on Google’s behalf due to the size and scope of the project and to absolve themselves of liability issues should the project come under legal scrutiny or failure.
Do Waymo cars have drivers?
Currently for the testing phase, Waymo cars have operators to fall back on should evasive or emergency driving take place. Their cars are fully equipped to deal with many types of issues and are have less accident and fatality rates than humans. Both Waymo and Tesla offer independent driver-free options currently though Tesla’s sentry mode is the only fully automated product available to the public (and at very low speed) we may also add.
How much does Waymo cost?
Waymo One, their self-driving ride hailing application, is currently available to the public at no cost. It is available on both Google Play and the App Store. As for the autonomous driving technology itself, this is still in research and development and as such it is not available to the public. Once the technology is ready for sale we suspect that Waymo will first partner with automakers to provide them with the option for self-driving then in time, older vehicles may be retrofitted with the equipment and computer to make them compatible. Waymo already uses the Jaguar I-Pace for testing and further relationships like this are expected to blossom as time goes on.
When will Waymo be released for sale to the public?
Still in testing, their autonomous truck transport service Waymo Via is undergoing aggressive expansion in the southern United States. The unveil of their Via operations and DOT approval of self-driving trucks will be a key indication of further expansion into light vehicles. As of writing this article, there is no concrete release date for Waymo One or Via as expected, trials are going to take years to reduce the possibility of any safety conflicts. End users who are seeking automated driving solutions are encouraged to find other options available through Tesla currently though this is not a totally foolproof way to safely get around. There have been many documented crashes involving Tesla vehicles and this reinforces the need for controlled trials so that human lives are not put in jeopardy.