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Waymo has amassed 5 billion simulated autonomous miles and more than 8 million real world miles in autonomous vehicles on its way to becoming the largest taxi and limousine company in the US. But it has more on its mind than just self driving cars.

Autonomous Vehicles

Waymo Adding 25,000 Autonomous Miles A Day To 8 Million Mile Total

Waymo has amassed 5 billion simulated autonomous miles and more than 8 million real world miles in autonomous vehicles on its way to becoming the largest taxi and limousine company in the US. But it has more on its mind than just self driving cars.

Waymo’s motto is “Building the world’s most experienced driver.” To get there, it combines simulated miles, in which programmers throw “edge case” situations at self driving algorithms, and actual real world driving miles. In the last 9 years, Waymo says it has accumulated 5 billion computer simulation miles and 8 million miles in real world driving — half of them in the past 8 months alone.

Waymo now has 600 autonomous cars in its self driving fleet located in 25 US cities. 400 residents of Phoenix, Arizona have signed up for a self driving service that lets them request an autonomous Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid to take them where they need to go throughout the greater Phoenix area.

Waymo intends to start charging for the self-driving car service later this year as it ramps up operations in the coming months. It has ordered 62,000 of the Pacifica minivans and 20,000 I-PACE electric SUVs from Jaguar for use in its fleet which will be delivered over the next 2 years. These 82,000 vehicles will make Waymo the largest taxi and limousine company in the US in one fell swoop if it can pull off the transition.

More Than Autonomous Cars

Tech Crunch reports that Waymo sees itself as a transportation company, not just a provider of self driving cars. It is focused on developing self driving trucks as well as making public transportation more efficient and accessible. In the future, it plans to work with automakers to make privately owned vehicles as well.

Waymo CEO John Krafcik has not shared many details about how Waymo’s self-driving system will make public transportation more accessible until last week when he made a presentation at the National Governor’s Conference. “We’ll have announcements soon about how we’re going to use our technology to move people from their homes or work to existing public infrastructure hubs so we as a society can get more ROI from those public transportation infrastructure investments,” Krafcik said. Make of that what you will.

Waymo autonomous Jaguar I-Pace

 

 
 
 
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Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else The Force may lead him. 3000 years ago, Socrates said, "The secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new." Perhaps it's time we heed his advice.

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