Stephen Crouch of Montana-based Blackmore explains how the company's lidar technology would help a robot car see what's ahead. Waymo will build self-driving vehicles in Detroit. The company, once known as Google's self-driving car project and now a leader in the push to develop autonomous vehicles, had previously said it was scouting locations in southeast Michigan but did not name a specific city. CEO John Krafcik revealed Detroit as the company's choice in a blog post Tuesday titled, "Making Waymos in Motor City." It refers to being "up and running" this year.
We followed Waymo vans for more than 170 miles over several days. Here is what we observed. Waymo says it plans to locate self-driving car manufacturing at a factory in southeast Michigan. The company, which was formerly known as Google's driverless car project and is part of the same parent entity, said it expects to create hundreds of jobs in the process. "We'll be looking for engineers, operations experts and fleet coordinators to join our team and help assemble and deploy our self-driving cars," the company said in a statement.
Waymo Chief Executive John Krafcik said the self-driving vehicle company is now offering limited "rider-only" trips in Phoenix, Arizona, as it looks beyond the robo-taxis business to generate future revenue. Waymo, a unit of Alphabet, has begun offering fully automated rides, without attendants in the vehicle, to a few hundred early users of its robo-taxi service in Phoenix, Krafcik confirmed on Sunday at a dinner with journalists ahead of a conference in Detroit. He did not say when or how quickly Waymo would expand "rider-only" services. Riders signed up for the fully automated service have signed non-disclosure agreements, he said. Waymo continues to look for new ways to sell its technology, beyond robo-taxi services, Krafcik said.
Waymo will build its autonomous vehicles in Detroit. CEO John Krafcik wrote Tuesday in a Medium post that the company will repurpose an existing facility in Motor City with the goal of being operational by mid-2019. Back in January, the company announced it had chosen southeast Michigan as the location of its new facility for the mass production of L4 autonomous vehicles, the first of its kind in the world. The company will create anywhere between 100 to 400 jobs as a result of the venture, according to The Detroit Free Press. Waymo will also receive incentives from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.
Waymo, Google's self-driving car division, will start testing its new fleet of minivans on public roads in California and Arizona later this month. The minivans, built in collaboration with Fiat Chrysler, are Chrysler Pacifica hybrids outfitted with Waymo's own suite of sensors and radar. Waymo and FCA announced their partnership in May. In a speech at the Detroit auto show Sunday, CEO John Krafcik revealed that Waymo built the sensors, radar and software for the new minivans itself. John Krafcik, CEO of Waymo, the autonomous vehicle company created by Google's parent company, Alphabet introduces a Chrysler Pacifica hybrid outfitted with Waymo's own suite of sensors and radar at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Sunday Waymo's long-range lidar can see a football helmet two football fields away and uses a single integrated system Krafcik said the company felt the system would work better if it was developed specifically for self-driving instead of using off-the-shelf parts.