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Waymo Launches Consumer Self-Driving Car Service in Arizona

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#1

Google’s self-driving car program started as a secret project in the company’s “Google X” research arm, but it didn’t stay there. Google spun it off into Waymo as part of the Alphabet reorganization several years ago. Waymo has been quietly (and sometimes not so quietly) testing autonomous driving technology, and now it’s finally rolling out to consumers in Arizona. People can order a car, and it’ll show up to take them where they need to go without a human ever touching the wheel.

The company feels confident enough in the roughly 10 million miles of practice driving to make this a real service that people pay to use, and it’s called Waymo One. Waymo has been testing its self-driving tech in the Phoenix area for a few years with the help of volunteer early riders. The company has outfitted Chrysler minivans with a suite of sensors like lidar and high-resolution cameras to scan the world around the car. Advanced machine learning algorithms recognize objects and maintain the vehicle’s position on the road while avoiding obstacles.

The service available 24 hours a day, seven days a week via the Waymo One app in the metro Phoenix area. That included Chandler, Tempe, Mesa, and Gilbert. When you request a ride, the app shows you the estimated price and the route the car plans to take. It’s not clear why the price is only an estimate — perhaps Waymo charges by actual mileage?

At first, Waymo One cars will still have a human safety driver behind the wheel. Waymo says the human component is there to “supervise our vehicles for riders’ comfort and convenience.” If everything goes to plan, the person behind the wheel should not need to intervene at all. Still, having a person overseeing the car will help hesitant consumers get used to the idea of a self-driving car. Waymo says it will also put people at ease with an in-car console that shows trip progress, access to support agents, and a “pull over” option.

Waymo One is only available to a small group of consumers who also participated in the early rider program. Waymo plans to gradually expand availability over the coming months. Current riders are also limited to a maximum of three adults and one child per ride. That’s something Waymo can enforce with a human safety driver in the car, but people might try to crowd in when the cars drive on their own. There are a lot of issues to work out, not all of them technical.
https://www.extremetech.com/extreme...-consumer-self-driving-car-service-in-arizona

So it's here, finally :pimp:

The "SAE" level would probably be 3, if not 4 ~ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-driving_car#Levels_of_driving_automation
 
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#2
Bring those self driving cars to MN - watch them fail miserably with the crappy winter road conditions! People that have lived here for years forget how to drive properly when it snows. We don't need self driving cars helping with accidents.

Anyway, this is how I envision self driving cars holding people accountable for lack of paying:
 
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#3
We don't need self driving cars helping with accidents.
Well it's not like self driving cars don't prevent accidents ~

There may come a day when cars can truly drive themselves and you can take a nap during your commute, but we’re not there yet. In the meantime, the ever-advancing state of self-driving technology has made some people a bit too comfortable turning over control to a system that can’t respond as effectively as a human driver. The California Highway Patrol recently pulled over a Tesla with some difficulty after police spotted the driver passed out behind the wheel.

The incident took place on Highway 101 when a patrol car spotted a Tesla Model S with a driver that appeared to be asleep. While the Tesla Autopilot system can handle some basic driving tasks, it’s not good enough that you can take a nap. The driver, 45-year-old Alexander Samek, was drunk and had passed out on his way home. You could argue that having the Autopilot system driving was probably safer than giving the heavily impaired human control of the car, but neither situation is legal.

Autonomous driving systems generally fall into one of five levels. Level one includes basic automation like lane assistance. At level two, a car can support for one or more tasks without the driver’s constant interaction — for example, many modern cars can steer and brake for several seconds on the highway without your hands on the wheel. Level three is where most research is currently focused. These vehicles use advanced sensors to scan the environment and drive for extended periods while responding to changing conditions. At level four and five, cars can drive well enough that you don’t have to pay attention at all. Level four can handle most types of driving, and level five is full automation that you never need to think about.

Tesla’s Autopilot system is somewhere between level two and three, so it’s certainly not good enough to take a nap behind the wheel. Patrol cars following Samek’s Tesla were unable to rouse him from his alcohol-fueled slumber, which made stopping the Tesla rather tricky. They eventually worked out a method to use the car’s own sensors to stop it. One patrol car stayed behind the Tesla, driving in a sweeping S-curve to keep other cars from getting in the way. Meanwhile, another cruiser maneuvered in front of the Model S and gradually slowed down. The Tesla’s radar saw a slower car in front, so it too slowed down. Eventually, it stopped in the middle of the highway.

It took about seven miles for police to bring the Model S to a stop. Samek was promptly arrested for drunk driving, but a cunning lawyer might attempt to point out he wasn’t technically driving. Whatever the outcome, this is a brave new world.
https://www.extremetech.com/extreme...ving-tesla-with-sleeping-man-behind-the-wheel
 

dorsetknob

"YOUR RMA REQUEST IS CON-REFUSED"
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Dorset where else eh? >>> Thats ENGLAND<<<
#4
Intresting to see/hear of the Insurance on this :)
thats the Next Can of worms
Driver Passenger needs no Insurance
:) Poor Waymo they just might have to carry the Liability :) >>> (Fat Chance the Insurance Cartel/Mafia will lobby Congress and Senate to Bring Statuary and Expensive Insurance Policys to cover SDC)
 

eidairaman1

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#5
Bring those self driving cars to MN - watch them fail miserably with the crappy winter road conditions! People that have lived here for years forget how to drive properly when it snows. We don't need self driving cars helping with accidents.

Anyway, this is how I envision self driving cars holding people accountable for lack of paying:
Tesla accidents, nope. No to self driving cars
 
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#6
machines make work easier for people, but when I read articles on the subject of ai and the companies developing it there is strong belief (or rhetoric) in the equivalence of man and machine such that the latter can replace the former and I believe that it's a dangerous and incorrect narrative.
 
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#7
We don't need self driving cars helping with accidents.
Thing is a lot of accidents happen simply because the driver did not pay attention to on going traffic conditions and events.
 
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