Waymo 360° Experience: A Fully Self-Driving Journey


Back in 2009, in our early days at Google, we started working on self-driving cars. Today, we’re called Waymo and our fully self-driving cars are on the road. They use a range of technology we’ve built from the ground up to understand the world around them and get you where you need to go. You’re about to see how it all works, and what it feels like to ride in our car. As it drives, Waymo uses LiDAR which sends out millions of laser beams per second to build up a detailed picture of the world all 360 degrees around it. It also uses radar to detect how far away objects are and their speed. And high-resolution cameras detect visual information like whether a traffic signal is red or green. It then combines all that data to understand the world around it. For example, in this fraction of a second, it knows exactly where it is on the road. It can also identify everything around it in full 360 degrees. And then predict what those things might do next. And it doesn’t just do that for the objects you and I can see. It can do that for things up to three football fields away. What makes everything you can see right now possible is experience. Waymo has already self-driven millions of miles on complicated city streets and it’s constantly learning from every single mile it drives. With all that knowledge, it can plan a safe path ahead. In this instance, giving that cyclist enough room to cycle past us and also looking out for that pedestrian on the sidewalk And when it comes to making decisions, this is a good example of how Waymo doesn’t just take into account your safety, it also makes sure that both you, and the people around you feel secure and at ease. So now that you know how Waymo works, it’s time to take your first ride in one of our cars. Take a look around. You’re now riding in a fully self-driving car. Some things might immediately stand out. The fact that there’s no one in the driver’s seat, no one turning the wheel. And the screens, which show you what the car is seeing and the route it’s taking. But you might also notice that the ride feels a lot like being driven in a regular car. And that’s the way it should feel. All this technology, which allows Waymo to see, identify, predict and plan should make an extraordinary ride feel completely ordinary. And create a very normal journey that simply gets you from A to B safe and sound. And while it does all that, all you have to do is sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.