Waymo, which is a subsidiary of Alphabet (Google) holding company, began in the US city of Phoenix, Arizona, in a test mode to carry passengers in their cars, controlled by autopilot. This is stated in a statement published on the Waymo and freight broker training school official website.
Volunteers from among the local residents were invited to participate in the test program. Using a special application, they can call one of Waymo’s computer-controlled cars and use it as a taxi for free during the day, TASS reports.
How many people wished to participate in the program, Waymo does not specify. Representatives of the company say that in the future they plan to select hundreds of people for this in Phoenix. Currently, volunteers are transported only within a few districts of the city. Waymo specialists take into account their comments to improve their cars. At the same time, in unmanned vehicles there is still a driver in case of unforeseen situations.
Waymo’s fleet currently includes 100 Fiat Chrysler passenger mini vans. How many of them are being tested in Phoenix has not yet been specified. Cars are equipped with sensors that allow you to monitor the road and the environment, as well as a computer that acts as a driver. Earlier, Waymo announced plans to order another 500 cars with an autopilot system.
It is worth noting that Waymo began testing in Arizona after Uber, which Waymo is now suing, accusing of stealing technology, announced the suspension of testing in this state of its unmanned taxis after an accident in late March.
As you know, a number of technology companies are already trying to create reliable and safe unmanned vehicles that could be used in the US in droves. Among them are Volkswagen, Tesla, Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, BMW, Honda and others. Similar tests are already underway in Singapore, the UK, Japan and some other countries.