Alphabet's autonomous driving division, Waymo, has published an in-depth report after two years of testing its self-driving cars in the Phoenix, Arizona area in the United States. The company, part of the same group as Google, noted that no serious accident was reported and only 18 minor incidents, most of them caused by third-party vehicles or pedestrians. A rather positive first phase for the company.
Between January 2019 and September 2020, Waymo tested its 100% autonomous driving technology in the Phoenix metro area, both with and without drivers behind the wheel. Waymo's vehicles have driven over six million miles (9.66 million km) in fully automatic mode, but with a driver behind the wheel in case of emergency. Another 65,000 miles (104,607.4 km) were travelled without drivers. The 18 accidents comprise minor collisions and no major injury. Waymo underlined that 29 other similar incidents were prevented thanks to the onboard driver who deactivated the autonomous mode right in time.
Waymo (formerly part of Google's Lab X) has worked for the past ten years on autonomous mobility (cars, taxis and trucks) in US states that allow this practice, like Arizona, California and Nevada. The next step for Waymo is to convince a maximum of people and authorities that this technology is safe in order to be allowed to deploy its autonomous vehicles in other countries. – AFP Relaxnews
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