Waymo, the former Google self-driving project that spun out to become a business under Alphabet, has driven 8 million miles on public roads using its autonomous vehicles.
Waymo CEO John Krafcik shared the company’s milestone Friday while onstage with Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval at the National Governors Association conference in Santa Fe, N.M. The figure is notable when compared to where Waymo was less than a year ago. In November, the company announced it had reached 4 million miles, meaning the company has been able to double the number of autonomous miles driven on public roads in just eight months.
Waymo’s fleet of self-driving vehicles are now logging 25,000 miles every day on public roads, Krafcik said. He later tweeted out the stats along with a graphic. Waymo has 600 self-driving Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans on the road.
The company also relies on simulation as it works to build an AI-based self-driving system that performs better than a human. In the past nine years, Waymo has “driven” more than 5 billion miles in its simulation, according to the company. That’s the equivalent to 25,000 virtual cars driving all day, everyday, the company says.
There’s been some loud griping about the electric scooters that started making their way to D.C. sidewalks this winter, but those squeaky wheels are not representative of the District’s broader feelings, according to a new survey.
About 72 percent of Washingtonians have a positive view of e-scooters, putting the city near the middle of those surveyed by Populus. The transportation data and analytics firm surveyed 7,000 people for its findings (most of those surveyed had not taken the scooters for a spin). As you can see below, D.C.’s high rate of good vibes for the two-wheelers is not unusual, per the survey.
Uber and Lyft are expanding their vision of ride-sharing to include not just cars but bicycles, electric bicycles, and electric scooters.
Uber jumped in first, adding the electric bikeshare company Jump to its app earlier this year in San Francisco and then acquiring the company outright in March for an estimated $100 million.
Lyft earlier this month bought Motivate, the nation’s largest bikeshare company, with operations in such cities as Boston, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, DC. The value of the deal was estimated at $250 million.
And California-based Lime announced recently that its bikes and scooters would also begin appearing on the Uber app and that several investors, including Uber, Fidelity, and Alphabet, the parent of Google, had invested $335 million in the company. The investment suggested the company is now valued at more than $1 billion.
“Our investment and partnership in Lime is another step towards our vision of becoming a one-stop shop for all your transportation needs,” saidRachel Holt, an Uber vice president.
It’s premature to regulate the self-driving vehicles being tested by companies such as General Motors Co. and Waymo LLC, the U.S. government’s top auto safety official said.
“At this point the technology is so nascent I don’t think it is appropriate today to regulate this technology,” Heidi King, deputy administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, said in an interview. “It’s not there yet, but each and every day we are open to identifying when the time is right.”