Waymo, an American autonomous driving technology development company, has just launched its latest version of its hardware and software that allows it to drive without human intervention.
The new package is the fifth generation of Waymo Driver for the company, and is built upon 20 million miles of self-driving on public roads, and more than 10 billion miles of simulation. For comparison, we recently learned that Tesla has amassed more than 3 billion miles of autonomous driving, showing the huge lead Tesla has when it comes to real-world autonomous driving data (Tesla does not release the number of simulation-driven miles).
The new hardware continues to be based on cameras and lidar, which can now reportedly capture more detail and provide sharper images, and identify objects like pedestrians and stop signs from over 500 meters away.
In addition, Waymo explains the lidar system can measure the size and distance of objects from over 300 meters away.
With the update, Waymo’s hardware is still as ugly as ever as everything is attached to the car, instead of being integrated into the vehicle like Tesla.
The first test vehicle with the fifth generation Waymo driver is an all-electric Jaguar I-PACE. The benefit of using an electric vehicle for their system is the frunk can be used for much of the hardware, which used to live in the trunk, thereby freeing up room for luggage, as seen in the video below.
One of Waymo’s most recent investors is the Canada Pension Plan, which along with several others, plunked down $2.25 billion during the company’s latest capital raise.