Waymo is Google’s self-driving car division and Vice News just got to take a ride in their new Chrysler Pacifica minivan.
The in depth interview with Waymo gives us viewers a look at the experience of being in a self-driving car and also takes a look at the technology that goes into building one of these cars. The crew takes out the autonomous minivans on a track full of obstacles including pedestrians, light changes and intricate cone formations that it swiftly navigates. It’s really interesting to see what it’s like to ride in a car that doesn’t have a driver and fascinating to hear what the principal engineer of Waymo, Nathaniel Fairfield, had to say about the technology. He asserts that the car is really safe but assertive at the same time. It’s constantly learning and evolving based on data collection during driving experiences. Check out the video below.
Waymo and Chrysler are the first companies to team up and they’re looking to be the first real world self-driving car available to consumers. The first step is to get the cars on the streets of several test markets on the west coast. Individual ownership of the Chrysler Pacific minivan is a goal but they’re also interested in creating a self-driving ride sharing service to compete with the likes of Uber. Imagine if you could summon an autonomous car whenever you wanted and feel completely safe that it would get you home in one piece in a timely manner. Removing the human from the experience will create a safer driving experience and ultimately solve many of the traffic problems we see today. I don’t think that autonomous cars will be the majority of cars on the road anytime soon but I do see that there is a place for them on the roads.