Waymos self-driving Pacifica minivans lately got a dedicated testing day with the Chandler, Ariz.. Fire & Police Department, wherein the autonomous vehicles spent time in focused demo runs where firetrucks, police cars, motorcycles, ambulances and much more navigated streets in and around the Waymo vehicles.
This evaluation was the first emergency vehicle testing day Waymo has run with its new vehicles (theyre exposed to them at the course of the ordinary auto road trials, clearly, but this is the first dedicated day around this testing). The goal was to amass as much sensor information as possible regarding the emergency vehicles, and how they look and sound as they pass, lead and trail behind the autonomous cars
The resulting data will help form a library where Waymo can pull when training its own vehicles on the proper behaviour and set of responses to use when encountering ambulances and the like on actual roads obviously a key ingredient that should be addressed before people road evaluations can get commercial service deployments.
The new hardware around the Pacificas, which Waymo developed entirely in-house, includes audio sensors that could detect sirens up to twice as far away as the first set, Google says. The new vision, radar and LiDAR gear may also watch emergency vehicles farther out than they had been able to earlier, which helps explain why Waymo wanted to do a very first day of dedicated testing with the newest gear: Its going to be able to observe emergency vehicle behavior in model and real-time appropriate paths and responses for this brand new kit.
Waymos currently using Chandler and Phoenix as test beds for its initial autonomous on-demand passenger pickup service, but the information accumulated from these regional evaluations can help its self-driving applications more generally have the ability to comprehend even emergency vehicles it hasnt encountered earlier, and respond appropriately.