Alphabet's Waymo to launch robotaxis with no human in driver's seat

Waymo's fully self-driving cars are here

Waymo's fully self-driving cars are here

"Starting now, Waymo's fully self-driving vehicles are test-driving on public roads without anyone in the driver's seat".

"Our ultimate goal is to bring our fully self-driving technology to more cities in the US and around the world", John Krafcik, Waymo's chief, said in prepared remarks at a technology conference in Portugal on Tuesday.

Today Waymo, the driverless auto unit of Google's parent company Alphabet, released a video of its cars tooling around the Arizona suburbs without anyone behind the wheel.

Waymo employees will be the first to test the fully automated rides. The industry risks a potential backlash against the technology if Waymo's autonomous vehicles are at fault in a high-profile crash.

At first, those passengers will be accompanied in the back seat by a Waymo employee, but eventually they will travel alone, although they will be able to hit a button to stop the vehicle. Many self-driving companies had circled 2020 as the date when self-driving vehicle technology would be deployed on USA roads.

Jaguars assert their dominance over Bengals, 23-7
Ivory has 209 yards and one touchdown on 57 carries, backing up Fournette in six games and starting against the Colts. The Cincinnati Bengals struggled to move the ball versus the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday afternoon in the 23-7 loss.

The subsidiary of Google parent Alphabet has been testing autonomous cars for years, but with a driver behind the wheel to take over if needed. We're told a Waymo engineer will be present during early tests of the biz's ride-hailing app service, and will eventually leave passengers alone with the robo-rides during their journeys. Waymo said it plans to let passengers sit in the back in coming months, possibly without an employee in the auto.

A self-driving electric shuttle built by Navya was tested early this year in Las Vegas in a United States first and will start a regular route there on Wednesday, the company told AFP. It isn't clear the public is willing to surrender control to a computer, and unexpected safety issues could arise in tricky environments, such as snow. "You could take these vehicles for one ride, for a day, for a week, or even longer". "One (vehicle) for napping, a personal dining room, a mobile office, or a vehicle just for when moving into your new place". But unlike other companies working this kind of technology, such as Tesla, Waymo's products have not had a commercial application, and therefore, were making no money back on what has been an almost-decade-long, expensive investment. And while Waymo's news that fully autonomous cars are here is a big deal, it's a much bigger deal that the company is officially announcing its plans to launch an autonomous taxi service in the metropolitan area of Phoenix following the testing period that's set over the next few months.

Last week, Waymo hosted around 50 journalists for a first-ever look at the company's private testing facility in central California. But instead of being in the front seat, that employee will likely sit behind the driver's seat.

The news also signals Waymo's confidence that its vehicles are safe enough to operate without a test driver.

Recommended News

  • 21st Century Fox Considering Selling Much of Itself to Disney

    21st Century Fox Considering Selling Much of Itself to Disney

    So it would definitely be interesting to see how a more-focused-on sports Fox would do, and how investors would react. Apple, which also reportedly eyed the company, has always been seen as a potential buyer for Disney .
    United Nations  implores Australia to resume feeding 'starving' refugees at remote camp

    United Nations implores Australia to resume feeding 'starving' refugees at remote camp

    Sudanese refugee Abdul Aziz Adam accuses Australia of abandoning them, and hopes New Zealand will offer them sanctuary. Boochani said the New Zealand offer was "our best chance". "We r dying", he said on Twitter.
    Rejuvenated Liverpool Thrash Woeful West Ham At The London Stadium

    Rejuvenated Liverpool Thrash Woeful West Ham At The London Stadium

    Plenty of West Ham fans have been calling for Slaven Bilic to be sacked during the first half of their match with Liverpool . The Hammers board have finally lost patience with the Croat, and he faces the chop during the upcoming global break.
  • Sprint, T-Mobile end merger talks

    Sprint, T-Mobile end merger talks

    The companies expected to have a better shot at the merger this year under the Trump administration. The companies dashed a previous plan to merge in 2014 after meeting resistance in Washington.
    NYPD, Manhattan DA's Office Investigate New Rape Allegations Against Harvey Weinstein

    NYPD, Manhattan DA's Office Investigate New Rape Allegations Against Harvey Weinstein

    Weinstein allegedly offered a ride home to her apartment where he demanded to come inside and have a drink de la Huerta said. She described the alleged encounter: "He pushed me onto the bed and his trousers were down and he lifted up my skirt".
    Iraq PM announces re-capture of al-Qaim from IS

    Iraq PM announces re-capture of al-Qaim from IS

    After overrunning vast territories in northern and western Iraq in 2014, ISIS has recently suffered a string of major defeats. The US-led coalition congratulated the Iraqi government and the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) in a statement.
  • 'Fifty Shades Freed' Trailer: The Series Climaxes

    'Fifty Shades Freed' Trailer: The Series Climaxes

    The movie will also star Kim Basinger , Marcia Gay Harden , Rita Ora , Tyler Hoechlin, Luke Grimes and Brant Daugherty . Happy reading, and in the meantime, check out the full Fifty Shades Freed trailer below.
    Saudi Arabia arrests 11 princes, including billionaire, in corruption crackdown

    Saudi Arabia arrests 11 princes, including billionaire, in corruption crackdown

    He was among 11 princes, four ministers and tens of former ministers detained, three senior officials told Reuters on Sunday. Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal speaking during a press conference in the Red Sea city of Jeddah, on May 11, 2017.
    No. 7 Penn State falls to No

    No. 7 Penn State falls to No

    When they came back at approximately 4:30 p.m. local time , the stands were mostly bare because fans departed during the delay. Ultimately, not even Mother Nature could save the Nittany Lions from the tail end of a three-game East Division maelstrom.
  • TCU campus all clear after armed shuttle driver fires shot

    TCU campus all clear after armed shuttle driver fires shot

    The unidentified suspect was described as a black male, wearing a white shirt, black trousers , driving TCU shuttle #24171. Breaking news out of Texas, where there are reports of an armed person on the campus of Texas Christian University.
    Page: I Was On Papadopoulos Email About Linking Russia Up With Campaign

    Page: I Was On Papadopoulos Email About Linking Russia Up With Campaign

    Sessions later recused himself from all matters related to the campaign, citing his support for the President's successful bid. But he downplayed the significance of the meetings, telling the Times he had "a very brief hello to a couple of people".
    Saudi forces intercept missile fired from Yemen

    Saudi forces intercept missile fired from Yemen

    Saudi air defence forces, quoted by broadcaster Al-Arabiya, said they intercepted the missile north-east of the capital. Rebels continue to hold much of Yemen and the United Nations has warned the country is on the brink of starvation .

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.