Waymo announced it has driven 10 million miles on public roads since it began testing in 2009.
“When it comes to driving, experience is the best teacher, and that experience is even more valuable when it’s varied and challenging,” said Waymo CEO John Krafcik in a blog post earlier today. “These millions of miles were driven in 25 cities across the United States: in sunny California, dusty Arizona, and snowy Michigan, and from the high-speed roads around Phoenix to the dense urban streets of San Francisco.”
The company, which extensively uses simulated testing in conjunction with that on public roads, shared it will also cross 7 billion miles driven in its virtual world. That’s 10 million miles every single day.
“In simulation, we can recreate any encounter we have on the road and make situations even more challenging through ‘fuzzing,’” Krafcik said. “We can test new skills, refine existing ones, and practice extremely rare encounters, constantly challenging, verifying, and validating our software. We can learn exponentially through this combination of driving on public roads and simulation.”
Waymo put the world’s first fleet of fully self-driving vehicles on the road. In Phoenix, more than 400 early riders use Waymo’s app and ride in its cars, allowing them to get around town without the stress of driving and with the peace of mind that they’ll arrive safely.
“While we’ve made great strides thanks to these 10 million miles, the next 10 million will focus on turning our advanced technology into a service that people will use and love,” Krafcik said. “To best serve our riders and make it possible for more people to benefit from this technology, we need to be safe and also capable, comfortable, and convenient.”
Waymo’s vehicles are fully self-driving around the clock in a territory within Metro Phoenix. The company’s engineers and scientists are applying advanced artificial intelligence and new in-house designed sensing systems to help the vehicles navigate complex weather conditions, such as heavy rain and snow – which are difficult even for human drivers.
“Self-driving technology is most useful if it gets you where you want to go, as quickly as possible,” Krafcik said. “Today, our cars are designed to take the safest route, even if that means adding a few minutes to your trip. They won’t block your neighbor’s driveway and will choose the safest place to pull over, even if it means having to walk a few extra steps to a destination. We value our riders’ time, and with even more experience and feedback from people in our cars, we’re working on ways to make our routes, pick-ups, and drop-offs even more efficient. That’s especially important in the Phoenix heat and suburbs with large parking lots! […] Building the world’s most experienced driver is a mission we’ll pursue for millions of miles to come, from 10 to 100 million and beyond.”