Self-driving cars: Google steps up a gear with Waymo
Google has just launched Waymo, a company dedicated to self-driving cars. The American firm plans to continue developing a 3.0 technology which could be adopted by car manufacturers.
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It is a brand new, autonomous division. Within the Alphabet group, Waymo will be devoted to self-driving cars, as its name suggests since it stands for "a new way forward in mobility."
On the market around 2020
After nearly eight years of research and development in this promising yet highly competitive sector, Google is ready to take its next big step: commercialisation. "It's an indication of the maturity of our technology," explained John Krafcik, the manager of the project, during a press conference in San Francisco. "We can imagine our self-driving tech being used in all sorts of areas − ride-sharing, transportation, trucking, logistics, and personal use vehicles," he went on.
During this announcement, the CEO of Waymo confirmed that the company was prepared to offer its technology to manufacturers who have already announced that they will be putting their first self-driving cars on the market around 2020, thus confirming the company's position as an automobile supplier.
On the road in California and Arizona
John Krafcik stated that his company, which has already partnered up with Fiat-Chrysler (FCA) and Honda, would start to put self-driving Chrysler minivans on the road in California and Arizona (United States) before the end of the month. "What we're bringing to the market is a self-driving technology platform," stated John Krafcik, praising his company's achievements in developing not only software but also interior sensors for just 10% the original cost, he said, for a lidar (radar laser).
Google spin-off Waymo revs up self-driving Chrysler minivans in California and Arizona https://t.co/Zy6RkPxvRq— Alex Credgington (@credgington) January 10, 2017
"This integrated software and hardware platform will allow us to deliver products and services," the CEO added. Since the start of the project, Waymo cars have covered 2.5 million miles (4 million km) in self-drive mode, claimed John Krafcik, while promising to work hard in order to make this technology "accessible to millions of people."