Waymo is an autonomous vehicle group owned by Alphabet Inc and they have hatched a plan to extensively test drive self-driving car under their autonomous driving program. And they want to kick start the program in Phoenix with hundreds of families from this Arizona city. The families to be involved in this test driving will register out of free volition; it will be a voluntary kind of thing.
The company also needs to procure up to 500 Chrysler minivans to set the ball rolling and get this program off the ground. This interesting information was made public by the company on Tuesday this week through one of its blog posts. A handful of families has been used earlier to test run this program by Waymo, which is a company owned by Alphabet Inc, the company that also owns Google. The initial test was for the purpose of finding out the expectations of various families from the self-driving car service. They wanted to know how people would take it and also to device a means to meet those expectations. The company equally revealed this via a blog post on the subject.
Waymo has now sent words out, calling on families to apply for the program so that they can participate in the test. The initial tests carried out by Waymo were private tests. This new, expanded test, therefore represents the first time the test will be made public. The drive will not be entirely automated one; human drivers will be behind the wheel to checkmate the self-driving cars in the event the latter decide to develop a mind of their own during the drive. The behind-the-wheel, stand-by drivers, will also help the company to gather feedback from the families and the performance of the self-driving cars.
Waymo has a long lasting alliance with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, and they also have one of the best track records in technology, which makes the company reliable for such a feat.
Feelers have it that many families would rather not buy any of these self-driving cars, but would rather use them as a taxi or car service. One of the car transport services that may want to buy into the self-driving cars is Uber. Uber can have a better understanding of what the expectations of prospective passengers are via the outcome of this test drive been organized by Waymo in Arizona. Uber can also learn from the Arizona test drive how to integrate the automotive car service into their ride services. One can say, therefore, that Uber will be one of the biggest beneficiaries of this test driving program being organized by Waymo.
During the period of the test driving, those who signify interest will have access to ride in the autonomous cars at any time they feel like it and every day. Out of the five hundred Chrysler minivans to be used for the test driving, Waymo already has access to 100. The company had to project for 500 minivans with the hope that such huge number will provide all the required support for the service all through the testing period.