Waymo began testing its self-driving vehicles in New York City, but initially it was manually driven
Waymo, a self-driving car company, is testing its driving technology on the streets of New York City. This company, spun off by Google, will begin to use manually-driven vehicles to map city streets with two people in the car.Waymo said that New York’s vibrant street life, unusual road geometry, and possible heavy rain and snow are one of the reasons the company is eager to test there.
A spokesperson said that Waymo will drive no more than 5 vehicles on the street at first. They will drive in Manhattan, mainly south of Central Park, and eventually extend through the city down to the financial district, and will also pass through the Lincoln Tunnel. Extending to a small part of New Jersey. The fleet will initially consist of Chrysler Pacifica minivans, equipped with high-power sensors and computing units, and will later include the company’s Jaguar I-Pace SUV.
It is unclear when these cars will start driving in autonomous driving mode. But New York City is clearly a huge and complex stage, and Waymo is eager to show the effectiveness of its technology on this stage. New York City also has some of the most dangerous, crowded, and poorly managed streets in the world. These streets are also full of construction workers, pedestrians, cyclists, and double or even triple-parked cars. In theory, this will make it difficult for self-driving cars to navigate, because self-driving cars usually rely on good weather and clear signs to operate safely.
While other states have become hot spots for self-driving car testing, New York has always been a “ghost city.” Part of the reason may be the strict regulations of the state, which include stipulating that safety drivers must always keep their hands on the steering wheel, and requiring state police to escort them at all times, at the expense of the testing company.