It’s no longer news that Google has a self-driving car unit called Waymo which will be used as a transport system to safely transport people and goods without any human assistance. Yes the drill here is Google is putting its self-driving car in a spin-off display mode as a means to convince the public that its latest invention is almost ready for public use.
Waymo is the self-driving car project started eight years ago and just this week, the company showed off its progress on how far they have come. The project show off was done at a closely guarded testing facility located on 120 miles (193 kilometres) southeast of San Francisco where the robots completed their driver’s education for the self-driving car.
The project tour also included giving close to 100 reporters a ride in the Chrysler Pacifica minivan as they travel through the expressway that Waymo has been built on a former Air force base located at the central valley city of Atwater in California. The Waymo minivans amazingly cruised the road with passengers at the back and the driver’s seat looking empty. In line with safety regulations though, the automated minivans still had volunteer drivers on standby to take the wheel in case anything goes out of control.
Waymo CEO John Krafcik told reporters that the company will be making some cars, trucks which will be totally driverless while explaining that the company’s real aim is to produce driver free cars where there will be nothing in front of the passenger at the back and can safely take the passengers to any location of their choice with ease. In a statement he said “We are really close,” he said. “We are going to do it when we feel like we are ready.”
Waymo is hoping to use its self-driving technology and infuse it into the ride hailing service and which has led it to partner with Uber rival Lyft in the United States. Uber on its part has been moving faster than its counterparts with an early announcement back in August 2016 that it was partnering with Swedish car maker Volvo among other manufacturers like Fiat Chrysler to bring self-driving cars to the public.
Uber is also ahead in the self-driving trucks unit with its purchase of a self-driving trucks startup Otto last year which successfully completed its first commercial delivery, having delivered its beer load from Fort Collins, Colo., to Colorado Springs, a roughly 120-mile trip on Interstate 25.