24. 11. 2017
Earlier, in April of this year, Waymo tested unmanned taxis in Arizona. Waymo is a subsidiary of Alphabet (which in turn is the parent company of Google). Then at the wheel, just in case, there was a man. And starting from the middle of October, fully automated minivans appeared on public roads. They can carry out full-fledged transportation of passengers, without compromising safety. This was announced at a technical conference in Lisbon by the company’s director, John Krafzik. Autopilot taxi will soon be available for anyone. And first of all the new technology will be tested by the participants of the program Waymo’s Early Rider.
The company conducted many tests that allowed us to establish that automation does not make the car less safe. But even on the contrary, it helps to reduce the accident rate.
The combination of powerful sensors gives the taxi driver with an autopilot 360 degrees. Lasers see objects in three dimensions at distances up to 300 m. Lasers with a small range of action for recognizing the nearest objects. Different radars track all moving objects around the machine and even under it. They take into account what a person usually simply can not notice.
Waymo even stated that they have already stopped the development of emergency regimes, when a person can intercept control, because he simply does not have time to react to it.
Thus, the advantage of a autopilot taxi is the elimination of the main cause of most accidents — the human factor.
The next step should be the integration of an unmanned taxi with such mobile applications as Uber or Lyft. Next year it is planned to implement this, which will allow people to have access to the fleet at any time.
Most likely, soon the usual driver’s seat will be replaced by various screens for route selection, or simply by some entertaining interactive interface for a more pleasant trip.
And unlike several other companies that also deal with the creation of automated cars, Waymo is not afraid of the negative reaction of users. Therefore, they do not intend to delay with the release of my high-tech autopilot taxi.