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Google and Waymo Teaching Robot Cars To Respond To Emergency Vehicles

In order for self-driving vehicles to work, they will have to be able to do a wide range  of fairly ordinary tasks that human drivers perform daily. Many of these include navigating roadways, staying within a lane, stopping for pedestrians who unexpectedly cross their paths and successfully pulling over to accommodate police cruisers or fire trucks that are on their way to deal with emergencies.

At Western Auto Crafters, we know that the age of autonomous travel is on the way, here in Los Angeles, CA and all over the planet, so we like to share futuristic blogs like this one with our readers.

Google, through its self-driving car subsidiary known as Waymo, recently teamed up with a local Arizona Fire and Police Department to conduct its very “first emergency vehicle testing day” with a fleet of self-driving Chrysler Pacificas.

In a recent press release, Waymo stated that it spent a full day with the fire and police departments in Chandler, Arizona, conducting a series of test runs with police cars, motorcycles, fire trucks, and a handful of ambulances around the city. The goal, according to Waymo, was to have the sensors collect an extensive cache of data to build up a comprehensive library of sights and sounds to help instruct their self-driving vehicles to respond safely to emergency vehicles while on the road.

The goal of all this testing was to try out Waymo's newest self-driving minivans that are now capable of hearing twice as far as they could previously with a new suite of highly-sophisticated sensors. With these new sensors, the company's teaching software can enable vehicles to discern which direction sirens are most likely coming from. By being able to gauge the direction of an oncoming fire truck or ambulance quickly allows Waymo's self-driving min-vans to make smarter, better and safer decisions. The vehicles come equipped with an audio detection system that was designed in-house by Waymo. Coupled with a series of self-driving sensors, the vehicles can see emergency vehicles and their flashing lights even further and clearer with Waymo's custom vision system, radars, and LiDARs

Waymo’s autonomous car program caused a lot of controversy earlier this year, thanks to the high-profile civil suit involving Uber, which they accuse of stealing pertinent trade secrets about its autonomous driving fleet At the same time, Waymo has linked up with Uber rival Lyft to work on self-driving cars together, and earlier this year it launched a pilot program for the public to test the autonomous Pacificas in Arizona.

Who will be the first company to develop teaching robots to help us as we all enter the autonomous age. Who knows, so stay tuned.

Sources: Google News, PR Wire and AOL

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