After months of successful tests with autonomous cars, Waymo now starts on Los Angeles roads. Three self-driving cars have come to the second most populous city in the United States. Waymo, the self-driving division of Google parent Alphabet, announced on Monday on Twitter that it would begin driving its autonomous vehicles to built 3D maps of the city.
The first vans started on Monday 6th October and are driven manually by a Waymo technician and without passengers. Once the 3D maps of the city are built, Waymo will offer on-demand taxi services with completely self-driving cars.
Waymo has announced these driverless rides by mail, but only to selected test users (early-riders-program). Here is a screenshot of the mail:
Waymo has special permits to test self-driving cars on public roads throughout California, even with no human behind the wheel, because the collected data helps LA’s Department of Transportation’s digital tool called “Mobility Data Specification” (MDS). Electric scooters and other shared mobility devices which operate on its streets are tracked in real-time. These anonymous data are important for analysis and traffic planning. E-scooter companies are required to share data with the city as a precondition for receiving a permit to operate scooters in Los Angeles.
We are very excited about this development and are looking forward to first experiences! Hopefully we will soon be able to test this extraordinary technology in Germany.