Items tagged with waymo

Perhaps someday in the future autonomous vehicles will be the norm, not the exception. There are plenty of hurdles standing in way of that ultimate goal, with safety being the obvious main concern. Doing its part, Waymo has decided to share its rich collection of self-driving car data with researchers at no cost. If you ask Waymo, the company will tell you it is one of the largest and most diverse self-driving datasets every released for research. It contains data from 1,000 driving segments, with each segment capturing 20 seconds of continuous driving corresponding to 200,000 frames at 10Hz per sensor. This type of continuous footage can be a potential goldmine for researchers attempting to... Read more...
Alphabet owns both DeepMind and Waymo, and the two subsidiaries are working together to train AIs that operate Waymo self-driving cars. The way the duo are training the AI is using the technique that DeepMind calls population-based training (PBT) that was developed and used previously by DeepMind for training the video game algorithms used to defeat humans in StarCraft II. The same technique was also used to train AIs to play Quake III Arena. PBT takes inspiration from biological evolution and can speed up the selection of machine-learning algorithms and parameters for a particular task. PBT does this by having the AI choose the machine-learning algorithms and parameters available for a specific... Read more...
After over 10 million miles of miles of testing with its ever-growing fleet of self-driving vehicles, Google's Waymo is now ready for a commercial launch of its ride-hailing service. The paid service is called Waymo One, is available 24-7, and is accessible with an app (just like Uber and Lyft). Right now, the service is only available in the Metro Phoenix area, serving the cities of Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, and Tempe. The self-driving Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans can accommodate up to three adults and one child per trip, and at first will be limited to what Waymo describes as "early riders". Early riders -- which numbers in the hundreds -- were previously part of Waymo's... Read more...
Waymo's autonomous vehicle fleet has been piling on the miles ever since the program was first initiated by Google back in 2009. According to the company, its cumulative total for miles driven has swollen to 8 million to date. To put that figure in perspective, it took six years from the time the Google's first autonomous vehicles took to the road until it crossed the one million threshold. The two million mile mark was reached just over a year later the miles have been racking up ever since. Remarkably, Waymo's miles-driven tally has was at "just" 5 million in February of this year. You can chalk up Waymo's rapidly advancing autonomous odometer and experience in the field to the fact that it... Read more...
Fiat Chrysler has announced that it has expanded its partnership with Waymo. The new deal will see Waymo acquiring an additional 62,000 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans for its autonomous fleet. Chrysler was mum on just how many of the vans Waymo was getting when the last deal was announced at the beginning of the year. At that time, all Waymo and FCA had said was that the deal was for “thousands” of minivans. FCA has delivered 600 Pacifica Hybrid minivans to Waymo to date. FCA has also confirmed that the two companies are at the beginning of discussions about using Waymo’s self-driving tech in FCA passenger vehicles for retail customers. The two companies said that would... Read more...
Something went terribly wrong on a Tempe, Arizona road last week, when a pedestrian crossing the street was struck and killed by an autonomous Uber Volvo XC90. The vehicle's sensors didn't detect the pedestrian, meaning that the brakes weren't automatically applied to prevent the crash (or at least lessen its severity). Perhaps more tragically, the human "babysitter" behind the wheel wasn't even paying attention at the time of the crash -- she was looking elsewhere in the cabin instead of keeping an eye on the road ahead. Now, a new report from Reuters suggests that Uber's decision to skimp on the number of safety sensors that continuously scan ahead, to the side, and rear of the vehicle to gauge... Read more...
While Uber's autonomous driving trials are understandably on hold for the moment, computers Waymo is moving right ahead with new partnership to advance the field. Today, Waymo announced that it has signed an agreement with Jaguar to deliver up to 20,000 self-driving I-PACE electric crossovers over the next few years. Waymo's current fleet consists primarily of Lexus RX 450h Hybrid crossovers (which are being phased out) and Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans. "Imagine a world where you can take a self-driving minivan to the baseball game with family, and a self-driving I-PACE home after a night out — in both cases, a car perfectly suited for your needs," said the Waymo Team in a Medium posting.... Read more...
We were all stunned last week when it was revealed that an Uber self-driving Volvo X90 crossover struck a pedestrian crossing the street at night, killing her. While there was a human driver behind the wheel at the time of the crash, the Volvo was operating in fully autonomous mode when the accident occurred. 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg, who was walking across the street (outside of the crosswalk area) was hit, and died on the scene. Uber's public relations team and its CEO were quick to offer the condolences and vowed to cooperate with the police in the investigation. The company also took the precautionary measure of removing all of its autonomous vehicles from public roads -- for now. A video... Read more...
Now that Waymo is free of its long-running legal battle with Uber, it is focusing its attention on more important endeavors; namely spreading its self-driving technology to more platforms. In this case, Waymo is launching a pilot program that will see autonomous semi-trucks navigating through the Atlanta, Georgia area. Waymo began testing its autonomous trucks during trials in California and Arizona and is ready to expands those trials in high-profile way. While many of the basic principles of a self-driving semi-truck are similar with passenger vehicles like the Lexus RX 450h and Chrysler Pacifica vehicles that Waymo typically uses, considerations have to be made for "braking, turning, and blind... Read more...
To the uninitiated, riding shotgun in a self-driving car might seem like a scary proposition. Part of the reason is because we are simply not used to seeing a vehicle navigate itself without a human driver behind the wheel, so the image of a potentially deadly hunk of metal motoring down a busy street is inherently concerning. Waymo seems to recognize this, so it has gone and launched a 360-degree virtual reality experience that puts users in the rear seat of a self-driving car. Much of the 3-minute video is spent explaining how Waymo's various sensors survey the landscape to identify all the moving parts, be they other cars, guys and gals on bicycles, or pedestrians hanging out in a parking... Read more...
Alphabet's Waymo and Uber have agreed to bury the hatchet and settle a lawsuit revolving the latter's self-driving vehicle aspirations. As a result, Uber will pay Alphabet a hefty sum (in the eyes of mere mortals): $244 million. But in the grand scheme of things, it's still a relatively small figure for Uber, which has value of $72 billion. Waymo alleged that Anthony Levandowski, who headed up Waymo/Google's self-driving car division, took confidential intellectual property (roughly 10GB of data files that were downloaded from corporate servers) with him when he left in early 2016 to start Otto. Otto was a self-driving truck company that would end up being purchased by Uber. Alphabet's thinking... Read more...
Just two months ago, Waymo announced plans to test a self-driving car service in Phoenix, Arizona, in which commuters could summon a free ride from one of around 600 Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivans. Now the company is putting the pedal to the metal with "thousands more" of the same hybrid vehicle, each one motoring around without a flesh and blood (read: human) driver behind the wheel. Fiat Chrysler in Canada is producing the self-driving vehicles for Waymo, which is planning to deploy the hybrids in cities where it is currently testing autonomous driving technology. When asked by Wired exactly how many thousands it is talking about, the company would not say, leaving it up to everyone's imaginations.... Read more...
Uber has been in hot water over the last few months for some very unsavory allegations. Among them was that Uber was hacked resulting in the data of 57 million customers being stolen. The company allegedly paid the hacker $100,000 to delete the data. The latest issue stems from a 37-page letter that Ric Jacobs, a former member of the Uber security team, sent to management earlier this year detailing all the shady things the company has done over the years. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons (Dllu) Until this week, only portions of the letter, called the Jacobs Letter, had been revealed, but now a redacted copy of the letter is part of the litigation between Uber and Waymo. The letter claims that... Read more...
Waymo, a division of Google's parent company Alphabet, continues to accelerate its self-driving car efforts by racking up millions of miles on public roads. The official tally now stands at 4 million miles, of which 1 million of those were accumulated in the past six months alone. In the early going, it took a full 18 months for Waymo to log its first million miles. All of this experience adds up and is crucial to making autonomous vehicles safe for everyday use. Image Source: Waymo "With these 4 million miles of experience, we’ve been able to focus on varied and complex driving scenarios. For every situation we encounter on the road, we’re able to amplify and multiply the experience... Read more...
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