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Waymo First To Test Autonomous Vehicles In California

Waymo First To Test Autonomous Vehicles In California

Google subsidiary Waymo will be launching a fleet of roughly 36 self-driving vehicles onto roads in Santa Clara County in the near future. While this may not be shocking news considering there are six dozen other companies permitted to operate in the state, Waymo will be the first in one area: Their vehicles will not need a backup driver. 

There will be strict guidelines in place for the testing, but the vehicles being tested will be what is considered "level 5," of fully automated. What they will require is constant supervision by a remote observer, contact with any passengers, notification sent to local communities regarding the testing, and carrying at least $5 million in insurance in case of an incident. 

The testing is permitted by the California Department of Motor Vehicles to operate in both day and night conditions regardless of weather. Any road with a posted speed of up to 65 MPH can be used. This includes surface streets, highways, and rural roads. This won't be a first for Waymo, though. They ave done extensive self-driving vehicle testing in other states such as Arizona, where Waymo plans to open a ride-hailing service similar to Uber or Lyft in the state by the end of this year. 

Our partners at Collision Works Of Wichita West in Wichita, KS have a special interest in self-driving technologies along with many other service and collision professionals across the country. The introduction of high-level automation can affect every portion of the automotive industry, and Waymo's advances are of particular interest as they are widely considered the industry leaders with millions of miles of road testing performed and the most proven software and hardware systems.

Written By: Todd Hendrickson
Source: Reuters

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