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Waymo self-driving cars hit another milestone

ABR Staff Writer Published 23 July 2018

Waymo, the autonomous vehicle subsidiary of Alphabet, announced that its self-driving cars have reached 8 million miles on public roads in the US.

The 8 million miles roughly translates to around 25,000 miles per day. 

Last November, Waymo announced that it had completed 4 million miles on public roads.

Google completed its first 1 million miles in June 2015 and by October 2016 it completed the 2nd million miles.

Third and fourth million miles milestones were reached in May and November last year. Fifth, sixth and seventh million miles were reached in February, April and June this year, respectively.

Waymo CEO John Krafcik announced this news on his Twitter handle. In the tweet he also stated that there are an additional 5 billion miles in simulation. This means that everyday nearly 25,000 miles of virtual driving takes place.

The virtual driving is mainly centered around, practicing on situations that the automated cars would not normally meet in real-life situations. These are called ‘edge-case’ scenarios and they are claimed to be very important for training the machine learning software and will then be updated into the vehicles. This system is expected to make vehicles learn faster and attain a point where Waymo can begin its own ride-hailing company with the robo-cars.

Krafcik expects that Waymo will partner with automakers, cargo operators and public transportation companies, which will licence Waymo’s self-driving technology.

Wamyo has placed an order with FCA for the supply of 62,000 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans in May this year. In 2016, FCA secured an order to supply 100 of the minivans to Waymo and an additional 500 were ordered in 2017.

Waymo has also partnered with Jaguar Land Rover for the supply of Jaguar I-PACE, an all electric vehicle in March this year. The self-driving company also stated that it will add nearly 20,000 I-PACE vehicles in the coming years, which will be able to drive at least a million miles per day.

Image: Waymo’s self-driving vehicle in Arizona. Photo: Courtesy of Waymo.