Waymo Gives Sneak Peek of Autonomous Ride-hailing Service, Pacifica

In a hope to catch the attention of people, who have struggled to get a cab or have been upset over regular cancelation of cab pickups, Waymo has brought in a brand new self-directed ride-hailing service, named Chrysler Pacifica. With this introduction, the company hopes to become the first autonomous cab service across the world. On Monday, Oct 30, 2017, Waymo had put several technology reporters inside their gen-next autonomous vehicles to give them a first hand in-person experience. Andrew Hawkins of The Verge has written about how he felt in Pacifica. In his words, the ride was “smooth” and he felt “safe and secure in a vehicle sans a driver.”

This fleet of vehicles is programmed by Waymo in order to function at low speeds; however, it moves at pace that is above a slow crawl. Riders moved around cyclists, a disappointed man standing next to a malfunctioning Hyundai, and a couple of pedestrians, all of whom were among the actors, who were contracted by Waymo to provide a feel of the real world.

Darrell Etherington of TechCrunch wrote about how the vehicle neatly slowed down and prepared to avoid any mishap when a squirrel ran out in front of it. John Krafcik, the CEO of Waymo, has declined the requests to divulge the time when this services will be lunched for the public use. However, he indicated that it may happen sooner than what is majorly believed in the global market.

Intel Announces Collaboration with Waymo

Intel Corp. announced an alliance with Google’s parent company Alphabet’s self-driving car units, Waymo on Monday, Sep 18, 2017. The world leading chipmaker stated that it had worked with Waymo earlier on its computer platform design to enable autonomous cars for the processing of information in the real time. Intel-based sensor processing technologies as well as technologies for connectivity and general computation were utilized in Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivans that have been used by Waymo since 2015 for testing its self-driving system. Brian Krzanich, the Chief Executive at Intel, told Reuters that the company has created a customized piece if silicon, which fits the requirements of Waymo’s sensor fusion and has tapped the processing power of Intel.

“Over time both the firms will learn to expand the horizons of the software, down onto silicon, as one gets cost, performance, and power. There will be a continual tempo of innovation and the new silicon that is released, which is actually what both of them gain from this,” he added.

Intel had recently announced the acquisition of Mobileye, an autonomous vision company for US$15 bn. Now the chipmaker is pushing to venture into autonomous vehicles, a highly dynamic and fast-growing industry, across a wide range of business models. According to a number of industry experts, the collaboration of Intel with Waymo, will bring it at the forefront of autonomous technology business segment. This self-driving unit of Google has acknowledged the alliance with a supplier for the first time.