Waymo became the second company to apply for the newly available license to deploy stand-alone vehicles without safety drivers on some California roads, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. It would be putting his cars – well, minivans – in the streets around Mountain View, where there is already plenty of data.
The company already has driverless driverless cars at stake in Phoenix, as it showed in some promotional videos last month. This is not the first public demonstration of his confidence.
California only made possible the granting of permits authorizing autonomous vehicles without a safety driver on April 2; another company asked for it in addition to Waymo, but we do not know which one. The new type of license also allows for vehicles lacking any kind of traditional manual controls, but for the time being, the company remains with its Chrysler Pacificas modifications. Hey, they are practical.
The recent deadly collision of a self-driving Uber with a pedestrian, plus another fatality in a Tesla operating in semi-autonomous mode, make it a little embarrassing to introduce vehicles on the road without safety conductors. Of course, it must be said that these two cars had people behind the wheel at the time of their accidents.
Assuming that the license is granted, Waymo's vehicles will be limited to the Mountain View area, which is logical – the company has essentially been operating there since its inception as a research project within Google. As a result, there is plenty of detail in the data and local authorities will be familiar with the people needed to deal with problems such as accidents, license problems, etc.
No details yet of exactly what cars will do, or if you will be able to ride one. Be patient.