General, Research, Technology

What does the ride look like inside an autonomous Waymo taxi?

Once upon a time, to travel to the right place ontaxi, you had to catch him on the street or call the dispatch service. But today, even in small settlements, you can call a car by simply taking it from your pocket into your smartphone. The taxi industry is constantly evolving and in the future, smart cars will drive up to us, inside which there will be no drivers... You just need to sit in the salon and wait,until the computer takes you to the right place. It seems fantastic, but residents of the American state of Arizona already have the opportunity to ride an autonomous taxi. The autonomous vehicles driving the Phoenix city roads are powered by technology developed by Waymo. Recently, a video appeared on the Internet, showing what Waymo taxi rides look like in reality. Apparently, during the quarantine, the developers did not sit idly by.

Waymo has proven its cars are great at self-driving on the road

Waymo autonomous taxi

Waymo autonomous taxi testing in the cityPhoenix has been underway for a long time. But since about March 2020, the service has been stopped due to the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. According to Reuters, work was only resumed in October. Anyone who downloads and installs the proprietary Waymo application for mobile devices can order an autonomous taxi. Previously, there was often a person inside the cabin of an autonomous taxi who monitored the actions of the driver's computer. But now Waymo customers get into empty cabins where there is a steering wheel but no driver. Based on the video posted on the Internet, using an autonomous taxi is a very interesting experience.

Waymo interior

Self-driving car capabilities

The video was published in one of the sectionssite Reddit. Waymo taxi customers used to sign a non-disclosure document. Apparently, now the company has no secrets and users can film what is happening on video and share reviews. The published video lasts 1.5 hours, because it includes 4 trips. Each of them lasts about 20 minutes - the author clearly wanted the car to face as many difficult situations on the road as possible. And he did a great job.

In case of problems, passengers can contact support

The interior of the car deserves special attention. There is a driver's seat, but you cannot sit on it. Watching the steering wheel spin on its own is rather strange. But the Waymo service is in test mode, so all this can be forgiven. Most likely, in the future, there will be no driver's seat and steering wheel at all. Passengers will be allowed to board there, but so far this is only speculation. But everything is fine in the back seat - there is a large display on which the route planned by the computer is displayed. It also shows cars passing nearby.

Interesting fact: Waymo uses Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid as a taxi

To drive the roads and not get caught inroad accidents, Waymo cars actively use data from the Google Street View service. On the body of the car there are video cameras and sensors that help the computer to record every surrounding object and make decisions based on the trajectory of their movement. Waymo's original technology prevented vehicles from driving in the rain or even recognizing traffic signals. But now there are no problems with this, so the development team is clearly worth praising.

See also: Why Waymo is more expensive than Tesla and Uber?

Taxi of the future

All four trips shown in the video passedideally. This is impressive because Waymo cars have been in trouble many times in the past. In February 2016, an autonomous taxi made a mistake and crashed into a bus passing by. The reason for the accident was that the computer thought that the bus would decide to let it pass freely. No one was hurt that day, but a year earlier a car driven by another person crashed into an unmanned vehicle. He suffered minor injuries, but Waymo technology was not to blame.

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When will Waymo taxi service be launched in othersAmerican states and whether it will ever appear in Russia is unknown. But the fact that cars are already doing so well with self-driving is encouraging. Tesla also promised to launch its autonomous taxi service in 2020, but there is still no news about it. It would be interesting to compare which cars are better at driving on city roads.