Waymo continues to develop its robocars. There is some progress, despite all the difficulties. So, now the robotic cars of this company will deliver packages for UPS in Phoenix, USA.
The initial route will not be too long – Chrysler Pacifica cars with an automatic control system will begin to transport packages inside the UPS system, without delivering them to the recipients. At the same time, at the first stage of work, the machines will contain operators who are ready to take control if something goes wrong.
Most likely, robocars will not reach the end consumer even after a while – after all, it is not enough to bring the load, you still need to deliver it to the door. And here already the robot car will not cope.
True, some companies think differently. Two startups, Nuro and Udelv, can be cited as an example. They develop customized vehicles that are capable of delivering cargo to their destination, including customers’ homes.
Waymo robots will act differently. In point A, packages will be loaded in them, the car will take them to point B, where they will be unloaded. If everything goes well, Waymo and UPS will cooperate in other areas of cargo transportation.
Waymo is currently testing ways to make practical use of its vehicles. For two years, the company has been testing semi-automatic trucks. They ride along the roads of the Phoenix and surrounding regions. Walmart, AutoNation, and Valley Metro collaborate with Waymo as a freight carrier.
But with the Waymo One taxi service, the company has problems. It can’t be scaled. It was originally planned that fully automated taxis will begin work at the end of 2018. But the deadline was broken, the service was launched in beta mode, with the operator in the driver’s seat. Yes, and such taxis are available not for everyone, but only for a limited number of beta testers.
By the way, at the beginning of last year, Waymo robotic cars were taught to obey the gestures of the traffic controller.
Autopilots are gradually improving. So, Waymo developers said that their robocars easily recognize cyclists and even respond to signals that they give with their hands to turn or stop. When a cyclist wants to join the stream, the robomobile “understands” it and skips it.
What is good is Waymo’s desire to share his best practices. Not so long ago, the company opened access to its dataset, which is designed to teach drone vehicle algorithms. It consists of approximately one thousand twenty-second recordings that are collected from five lidars and the same number of cameras while traveling around US cities. The weather conditions are very different.
As the developers indicate, the dataset data has already been marked, they are marked with borders around such objects as cars, people, bicycles and road signs. In the future, the company intends to post other valuable data in order to promote the development of “mobilization”.