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Waymo launches autonomous taxi on the road. No drivers at all

It’s no longer a secret that quite some time agoroads are tested unmanned vehicles. At the same time, popular taxi services even provide the opportunity to use an unmanned mode of transport. However, at the moment, unmanned taxis are not truly unmanned, because for safety reasons people are present in them to prevent an emergency if it suddenly arises. But quite a large company Waymo goes further and produces taxis on the roads without drivers.

Completely unmanned taxis are already a reality

According to Techcrunch, Waymo,Alphabet's automotive division has begun sending out emails to its customers. The letters say that very soon when ordering a taxi on their next trip, there may not be a driver to ensure safety. From this we can conclude that the company was finally able to negotiate with the authorities and provide the proper level of security for its autonomous cars.

So far during the unmanned operation teststransport on the roads of Phoenix, the capital of Arizona, and also after the full launch of the unmanned taxi service (which, by the way, are modified Chrysler Pacifica minibuses), the drivers always controlled the autopilot. But soon the need for them will disappear. If the client gets a completely unmanned vehicle, he will see a special notification in the Waymo application. The original letter you can see in the illustration below. By the way, how do you feel about unmanned cars? Write about it in our chat in Telegram.

The text of the letter that Waymo sends to its customers

Waymo first began testing itstechnology in 2009 in Mountain View, California. Since then, the company has expanded its test area to other cities, launched its own business and began to independently develop devices for equipping them with unmanned vehicles. In 2016, a research center was opened in Arizona, which was engaged in the development and improvement of technology, and in the year 2017, the first passengers used autonomous taxi services. Last December, Waymo One, a commercial self-driving taxi service, launched. Thus, in just 10 years, a small startup at the beginning of its journey has changed the entire automotive industry.

See also: How do autonomous cars learn to make their way?

The introduction of unmanned vehicles will becomean important milestone for the company and the industry as a whole. Already, Waymo management has approached the U.S. Department of Transportation with a proposal to amend the mandatory vehicle equipment requirements. In particular, the company wants to abandon the steering wheel and pedals built into the vehicle's design in order to fully entrust the management of automation.

But these are all things of the future. Today, a number of questions remain. For example, it is not clear what restrictions Waymo will set for trips without a driver and whether it will set at all. It is likely that the service will operate in “simpler” conditions such as sparsely populated areas, avoiding complex sections and expressways to ensure passenger safety.