Waymo is bringing a fleet of driverless vehicles to Austin, Texas as a take a look at of its new fifth-generation automated driving system. The automobiles will likely be examined all around the metropolis, together with downtown, the Capitol, Market District and different places. The automobiles that Waymo is testing in Austin are new all-electric Jaguar SUVs, a change from the hybrid Chryslers it beforehand used.
Waymo, a subsidiary of Google’s father or mother firm Alphabet, selected Austin as its subsequent metropolis for testing as an homage, of types, because it hosted the primary prototype driverless automobile in 2015. Again then, the checks have been performed on Waymo’s retired Firefly prototype car, which ran the primary era of Waymo’s Driver system. These days, they use a fifth-generation system that has been refined and adjusted all through the previous seven years.
One other probably cause they selected Austin? A Texas state regulation handed in 2017 dictates that cities can not regulate self-driving vehicles. To that finish, the town already hosts a few rivals. Ford began testing its Argo driverless system in Austin final 12 months and GM-backed startup Cruise has additionally arrange store. Town additionally performs host to loads of autonomous supply bots.
Waymo will even benefit from its presence within the metropolis to make connections with and supply providers for local people organizations, similar to Moms Towards Drunk Driving and the Texas College for the Blind and Visually Impaired.
This can be a know-how take a look at and never a full-fledged rollout of a self-driving taxi fleet like the corporate already operates in Phoenix and San Francisco. Nonetheless, if the take a look at goes properly, Waymo may ultimately convey reputable driverless ride-hail providers to Austin.
Replace, 1:35PM ET: This story has been up to date to replicate that Waymo won’t be selecting up passengers in its vehicles in Austin. As an alternative, they’re doing testing to enhance and consider their self-driving know-how in additional places.