Testers napped, placed on make-up and used their telephones on the street. In different phrases, they’d misplaced context of the place their automotive was going or how briskly it was and would’ve been taken unexpectedly in the event that they have been out of the blue given management of the car in harmful conditions. Waymo has been engaged on ditching the handoff function since then to permit “passengers to remain passengers.”
The most recent model of Waymo’s minivans function show screens mounted on the again of the entrance seats. They present messages explaining why the system simply did what it did (say, if it stopped to let a pedestrian cross) in addition to visualizations of the environment. Extra importantly, they’ve a brand new panel with buttons permitting passengers to begin the trip, pull it over, name for assist and unlock the doorways.
Whereas the buttons nonetheless give passengers some semblance of management, Waymo chief John Krafcik stated his workforce is engaged on a expertise that can make their ride-hailing dreams extra possible. That function will give their autos the flexibility to acknowledge the one that hailed them even when they are not within the actual spot the place they referred to as for a trip.
For those who’re in Phoenix, Arizona, you may need already seen Waymo’s new minivans driving individuals round. You may not have to attend for years on finish to see one even should you’re not in Phoenix, although: Krafcik stated they’re “actually shut” to unleashing their self-driving autos on public roads.