Waymo, formerly known as the Google self-driving car project, is a self-governing car developer and an independent company under Alphabet Inc. The company began in 2009 as a project under Google. In 2015, the project completed its first driverless ride on public roads, giving a ride to a sole blind man in Austin, Texas.
In December 2016, Google evolved the project into a new company called Waymo, furnished under Google’s parent company Alphabet.
Google’s self-driving cars are comprehending when it comes to complex situations on public roads, from cars going the wrong way to bicycles darting in front of traffic, as it strives to win the high-profile tech race to achieve full vehicle automation.
According to Google, 100 of these minivans will join the tech giant’s fleet of self-driving vehicles being tested. The ascend of the Chrysler Pacifica minivans puts Google quite ahead of its direct technology industry competitors in the race to get autonomous vehicles in the hands of the public.
The Chrysler-Waymo collaboration was first announced in May of this year, when the latter group was still called the Google Self-Driving Car Project. As part of the partnership, Chrysler modified many of the Pacifica’s parts specifically for Waymo, including its electrical and structural systems, chassis and powertrain, according to USA Today. They’re the first cars that Waymo is testing since becoming a standalone company, and they’re a far cry from the pod-like vehicles that the project has used before. With this great new minivan on the road in our test markets, we’ll learn how people of all ages, shapes, and group sizes experience our fully self-driving technology.
Waymo, as an autonomous tech company with a mission to make it safe and easy for people and things to move around, will be headed by the veteran automotive executive John Krafcik, who has planned to make the self-driven cars available to the public in 2020.
Modifications were made to several parts of the Pacifica, including its electrical, powertrain, chassis and structural systems, to optimize it for the fully autonomous driving. With the additional computer equipment, the cars will undergo more challenging tests. They will be subjected to a broader variety of traffic and weather conditions, as well as other variables, with the goal of being ready for introduction by 2017.
Rather, its focus is on the shared mobility market, told TechNewsWorld, “where Level 5 autonomous platform makes a lot of sense, especially in providing mobility for the physically challenged.”
Waymo stands for a new way forward for mobility, which is indicative that Google is not just pursuing private car ownership model for its autonomous platform