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Old 14th December 2016, 12:21   #1
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Default Google creates dedicated autonomous car company - Waymo

Google has been working on its self-driving car project from quite long. The company claims to have tested its autonomous cars for over 31 lakh kilometers. The tech-giant now appears to be taking another major step in this domain. Google's parent company - Alphabet, has announced that its self-driving project is moving out from its research lab and will now operate as a stand-alone company called Waymo.

The new company will be based out of Mountain View, California. It will be headed by John Krafcik, who has been designated as the CEO of Waymo. Krafcik has claimed that Waymo will exist as an arm of Google's parent company - Alphabet, and will operate as a venture-backed start-up. According to the CEO, 'Waymo' stands for "A new way forward in mobility".

Another important update coming from Google's autonomous car project states that the company has now decided to put a hold on its intentions of making a dedicated self-driving car without steering wheel and control pedals. Instead, Waymo will be focusing on collaborating with other automakers to provide autonomous technology in conventional cars.

This comes as a major departure from Google's earlier aims regarding its in-house self-driving cars. Currently, Google's autonomous vehicle testing fleet includes Lexus SUVs and its own pod cars. These pod cars are bubble-shaped small vehicles that are fitted with advanced radar and lidar systems, but don't get a steering wheel or accelerator/brake pedals. Google believed that since it is building purely autonomous vehicles, controls for the driver won't be a requirement.

However, the company has now acknowledged the fact that current laws around various countries, especially the United States, won't allow autonomous cars where the driver can't take control in emergency situations. Moreover, customers too would be apprehensive of putting their money on such cars, especially since the autonomous vehicle business is still an unknown territory. Hence, the automaker has now decided to partner with existing automakers for the time being. The company is also planning to launch its autonomous vehicle-driven ride-hailing service by the end of next year.

Source: autoevolution

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Old 14th December 2016, 18:05   #2
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Default Re: Google creates dedicated autonomous car company - Waymo

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The company is also planning to launch its autonomous vehicle-driven ride-hailing service by the end of next year.
Wonder how that will work. I thought law prohibits a car by driving itself. So if you are hailing an autonomous car, there would still be a driver in it. So what savings does it provide to the hailing service provider?
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Old 15th December 2016, 11:05   #3
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Default Re: Google creates dedicated autonomous car company - Waymo

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So if you are hailing an autonomous car, there would still be a driver in it
The driver is only there temporarily. Autonomous software is still in its infancy, and having a person would just make people feel 'safer'. Of course, there are legal reasons too.

But Google & every other large automotive company out there expect that driver to disappear in the future .
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Old 22nd December 2016, 13:02   #4
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Default Re: Google creates dedicated autonomous car company - Waymo

Honda and Google in talks over self-driving technology

Honda has officially revealed that it is in talks with Google's new self-driving car division - Waymo, for a deal that would equip some of the Japanese automaker's vehicles with the tech giant's self-driving technology. The talks are currently for research levels and not for production vehicles.

If the deal is finalised, Honda will provide Google a few vehicles that will be modified to run on the latter's self-driving system. These vehicles will then be a part of the testing fleet of Waymo, which is currently undergoing public road tests in four US cities.

Google already has a deal with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), which will be supplying 100 Chrysler Pacifica plug-in hybrid minivans. These minivans will be equipped with Google's self-driving system, including the required sensors, telematics systems and dedicated computers, and will be inducted into Google's test fleet by early next year. General Motors and Ford had also approached Google for a similar deal, though things didn't finalise with both these carmakers.

Google announced the formation of its stand-alone self-driving arm - Waymo last week. The tech giant had also revealed that it would now be focusing on collaborating with other automakers to provide autonomous technologies in conventional cars, rather than building its own dedicated self-driving cars.

Source: Bloomberg
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Old 6th January 2017, 17:51   #5
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Default Re: Google creates dedicated autonomous car company - Waymo

Honda has revealed it's Riding Assist technology for motorcycles. Awesome concept and tech IMO.

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