Waymo, Google’s self-driving vehicle arm, is looking for a built factory in Detroit to outfit cars with its autonomous technology, giving Motor City a major role in future transportation. The company received an $8 million grant from the state of Michigan to locate there, and says the factory will be the first one in the world dedicated to mass production of AVs.
Waymo is looking for a factory of up to 200,000 square feet in the Detroit area, and says it will be used to install AV technology in Chryslers and eventually Jaguars. The grant mandates it must be up and running by the end of 2021 and employ at least 100 people.
Read the whole story here.
Not everyone is in love with the idea of autonomous vehicles and Waymo, formerly known as Google’s self-driving car project, is learning about it firsthand, as a slew of their test vehicles have come under attack.
Waymo vans on the road in Arizona have had tires slashed and their safety drivers have had weapons pointed at them at least 21 times in the last two years, and police believe the incidents are likely under-reported. Theories as to why vary from people being afraid of the technology to those who may fear losing their jobs when self-driving cars start taking to roads around the world.
Read about it in Newsweek.
What will the world and its communities be like when autonomous vehicles rule the roads? Wired sent a reporter to Chandler, Ariz., where Waymo is large-scale testing on real streets, to find out.
The first surprise was how engaged the fire department is in the testing. Would Waymo’s cars run over hoses in the street? Would they hear sirens behind them and pull over? And how does an emergency crew rescue a passenger trapped in a car with no driver?
Other questions: Who gets the ticket if the car performs an illegal maneuver–the car or the safety driver? What happens when a regular car parks in a space reserved for self-driving vehicles (it’s already happening in Chandler)? And what does it really meant to road safety when autonomous vehicles start mixing with human-driven cars?
It’s an interesting read. Check it out here and let us know in the comments–what do you think will happen when self-driving cars come to your town?
Waymo, formerly known as Google’s self-driving car project, is getting ready to launch a robotic taxi service outside Phoenix, Ariz., stocked entirely with its autonomous vehicles. A story from Citylab says while the cars may drive themselves, there will be lots of humans behind the scenes, ready to jump in to help.
Teams in four different areas–technicians, dispatchers, fleet response, and rider support–in nearby Chandler, Ariz., will stand ready to intervene if and when the cars need it. Citylab explains, “What humans lack in regularity, precision, and relentlessness, we (typically) make up for with manual dexterity, adaptability, and excellent visual sensors. Anywhere Waymo can’t quite make things work automatically, in come the people. Humans are the masking tape, the glue, the putty, the clamp. Humans are the hack.”
Read the whole story here.