Waymo is Testing its Self-Driving Minivans in San Francisco
【Summary】After its Chysler Pacifica minivans outfitted with self-driving hardware were spotted on the streets of San Francisco, Waymo has confirmed that its fleet of self-driving vehicles are conducting testing in the city.
SAN FRANCISCO — After its Chysler Pacifica minivans outfitted with self-driving hardware were spotted on the streets of San Francisco, Waymo has confirmed that its fleet of self-driving vehicles are conducting testing in the city.
"San Francisco was one of the first cities where we tested our self-driving cars, dating back to 2009 when we traveled everything from Lombard Street to the Golden Gate Bridge. Now that we have the world's first fleet of fully self-driving cars running in Arizona, the hilly and foggy streets of San Francisco will give our cars even more practice in different terrains and environments." a Waymo spokesperson said in a statement to FutureCar.
Most recently, Waymo has been testing a self-driving pilot program near Phoenix, Arizona, where members of the public can summon one of its Chrysler Pacifica self-driving minivans to run errands or get around town, free of charge. Other Waymo test cities include Mountain View, CA; Austin, TX; and Kirkland, WA.
In December of 2016, Uber launched its own self-driving tests in San Francisco. However, the company was met with resistance from state regulators for refusing to secure the necessary self-driving test permit required in California to test autonomous vehicles on public roads.
The conflict escalated just days later, when one of Uber's self-driving Volvos was filmed running a red light in the busy downtown area. As a result, the California DMV revoked the registrations of Uber's fleet. Uber has since moved its San Francisco autonomous testing operations to the Phoenix area.
Waymo is joining San Francisco based startup Cruise Automation on the hilly streets. Cruise is testing a fleet of self-driving Chevy Bolts in the city in a partnership with General Motors. In March of 2016, GM announced that it was purchasing Cruise for $1 billion to jumpstart its autonomous driving efforts. GM and Cruise are conducting testing for a future autonomous ride-sharing service.
The San Francisco bay area is becoming a popular test region for autonomous technology, due to its proximity to Silicon Valley. Waymo is joining 48 other companies that have been granted the permit to test autonomous cars in California. Included in the list are Tesla, BMW, Ford, Mercedes Benz, and NVIDIA. Uber Rival Lyft was granted a permit to test autonomous vehicles in November.
Originally from New Jersey, Eric is an automotive and technology reporter specializing in the high-tech industry in Silicon Valley. Eric has over fifteen years of automotive experience and a B.A. in computer science. These skills, combined with technical writing and news reporting, allows him to fully understand and identify new and innovative technologies in the automotive industry and beyond. He has worked on self-driving cars and as a technical writer, helping people to understand and work with technology. Outside of work, Eric likes to travel to new places, play guitar, and explore the outdoors.
January 19, 2018 News of the Day: BMW’s iNext EV Will Have Double the Range of Tesla’s Model 3, PSA Group to Built North American Headquarters Near Atlanta
Lithium Producers for Tesla’s Batteries to Get a Dedicated Hedge Fund
January 18, 2018 News of the Day: Honda Clarity Honored as the Most Innovative Car in the 2018 Edmunds CES Tech Driven Awards, GAC Motor May Use Fiat for Foothold into the U.S. Market
Uber Plans to Have Autonomous Trips With No Human Backup in 2019
AdaSky Demonstrates its Thermal Vision Solution for Autonomous Cars at CES
January 17, 2018 News of the Day: Nissan's Infiniti to Electrify its Models, China’s GAC Plans to Sell Cars in the U.S. in 2019
Autonomous Driving Startup Pony.ai Raises $112 Million in Funding
Hyundai's 2019 NEXO Fuel Cell EV Named Digital Trends Top Tech of CES 2018
- November 21, 2017 News of the Day: Tesla Allowing Reservation Holders to Configure Their Model 3s, Key Safety Systems Signs Deal to Acquire Airbag Maker Takata for $1.6 Billion
- Access Amazon Alexa in Your Car with Muse
- Workhorse Receives FAA Certification for Flying Car Test Flight at CES 2018
- Faraday Future & LeEco Founder Jia Yueting Summoned Back to China to Explain Heavy Debts
- Hyundai & Aurora Partner to Bring Level 4 Autonomous Vehicles by 2021
- Denso Acquires Mobile Phone Software Maker InfiniteKey
- 2018 Promises Advanced Technology that's Actually Obtainable
- Hyundai Teams With SoundHound on Voice Recognition Technology for Connected Cars
- Mercedes-Benz Refreshes Its CLS
- LG Electronics and HERE Technologies to Partner On Autonomous Cars