Waymo removes the driver from self-driving auto tests in Arizona

Waymo removes the driver from self-driving auto tests in Arizona”

A self-driving auto company created by Google is pulling the human backup driver from behind the steering wheel and will test vehicles on public roads with only an employee in the back seat.

The state of Arizona has no restrictions on self-driving cars.

The tests aren't limited to one or two routes, either; the test area where the truly driverless trials are being conducted in Chandler, Arizona (part of the greater Phoenix metro area), and the cars are able to go anywhere within this defined space.

Previously, Waymo's self-driving cars had been operating with a human sitting in the driver's seat. If this development from Waymo is any indicator, that deadline should be more than doable. Arizona has been particularly welcoming to autonomous auto companies. Until then, members of Waymo's Early Rider program will be the first to ride these fully autonomous vehicles as the company collects more data.

Waymo's cars have driven with an empty front seat on its 91-acre test site in central California, where the company recently hosted reporters.

Sam Abuelsamid, senior analyst for Navigant Research, says Waymo's tests without a human backup are the first to his knowledge on public roads at normal speeds. But those companies have existing manufacturing capabilities (like the automakers) and rider networks (like Uber) that Waymo lacks.

Public education is one piece of Waymo's strategy. This four control panel is located above them and features a "Pull over" button that will guide the vehicle to a stop and one to lock/unlock the doors. The cars also feature screens that show where the vehicle is headed and what its sensors are seeing, from other cars to pedestrians. Experts have long assumed that such vehicles would not be owned by individuals, but rather be deployed and maintained by large corporate entities. Waymo has partnered with Lyft but hasn't shared details on that deal.

In his speech, Krafcik sketched out a near future where Waymo-powered self-driving vehicles could be deployed for a range of missions, with interiors to match.

Follow USA TODAY tech reporter Marco della Cava on Twitter.

Like this


07 November 2017
MI ranked 18th fattest state in the U.S. , study says
The Palmetto State was ranked the 9th fattest state in America in an analysis by WalletHub , a personal finance website. And, the website says the USA spends in total almost $200 billion in annual health care costs related to obesity.

07 November 2017
Ryan: Those Critical Of Church Shooting Response 'Don't Understand' Faith
Ryan tweeted Sunday afternoon that residents of Sutherland Springs, Texas, where the shooting took place, "need our prayers right now".

07 November 2017
Two-thirds of food businesses to move supply chain out of UK
And 15 per cent of United Kingdom businesses have postponed or cancelled contracts because of the uncertainty over Brexit.

07 November 2017
Global Palletizing Robots Market 2017- Kawasaki Robotics, Fanuc America Corporatio
Production of the Radiosurgery and Radiotherapy Robotics is analysed with respect to different regions, types and applications. It also cites data including sales channel, Cleaning Robots product circulation characteristics and industrial advancements.

07 November 2017
Dubai sees 7.5% increase in tourists in first 9 months of 2017
Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom also retained their positions as Dubais second and third largest feeder markets, respectively. This represented a slight decrease and a 2 per cent increase in visitor numbers from each country past year .

07 November 2017
Man dressed as Santa found with crack pipe, drugs
Police discovered other unspecified drug paraphernalia and hypodermic needles during a subsequent search of Smith's vehicle. Police said officers found a crack pipe next to the 66-year-old man's Santa Claus costume, which was hanging in the auto .

07 November 2017
Nigeria supports OPEC cut extension under "the right terms"
That would require drillers to start standing up 8 to 10 new rigs each month, but the analysts are uncertain that will happen. West Texas Intermediate, the USA benchmark for the price of oil, was down 0.17 percent to $57.25 per barrel.

07 November 2017
Becky Lynch vs. James Ellsworth set for WWE SmackDown
But with Lynch as Team SmackDown's captain for Survivor Series, she now finds herself having to deal with Ellsworth a Carmella. Ever since, Becky has been out for James' blood but has yet to be given the opportunity.

07 November 2017
$0.86 EPS Expected for DR Horton (DHI); Itron (ITRI)'s Sentiment Is 1.28
Shares buyback programs are generally an indication that the company's board of directors believes its shares are undervalued. Exane Derivatives increased Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO) stake by 3,888 shares to 13,795 valued at $163.44 million in 2017Q2.

07 November 2017
QUALCOMM Incorporated (QCOM) Trading 2.3% Higher on Analyst Upgrade
BidaskClub upgraded shares of QUALCOMM from a "strong sell" rating to a "sell" rating in a research report on Sunday, July 16th. At current levels, Schlumberger Limited (NYSE:SLB) shares have been seen trading 3.23% away from the 20-day moving average.