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Waymo orders 62,000 self-propelled cars for robot taxi services.
Alphabet Corporation on Thursday announces it has signed a contract with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) to include 62,000 hybrids in its current portfolio of cars. Yes, these are many new unmanned cars, although Waymo does not specify a timeframe for shipping. It is currently piloting 600 of Chrysler Pacifica's unmanned Pacifica mini vans on U.S. streets, and if all this is not enough to get your exhaust tickling, Waymo also unveiled that it is in discussion about whether to license its Drivers' Assistant License from FCA for a FCA-manufactured unmanned car for private use.
Let's first take a look at the more immediate scheme - to put another 62,000 self-propelled cars on the road. Small percentages of this will be used as part of Waymo's first full-fledged robotic taxi facility in Phoenix, Arizona, which could become operational in the next 12 month.
He' Waymo is supposed to use the services beyond Phoenix once he's settled there...but that's still a bunch of cabs, especially considering he also ordered 20,000 all-electric Jaguar I-Pace SUVs as part of his stand-alone line. How and where it intends to use so many cars has not yet been decided.
Waymo is currently the only competitor among many to test automobiles on open road without anyone sitting in the driver's cab. Part of a study that leads to its robotic taxi services, the Arizona-based firm has offered select people the opportunity to drive in its automated guided vehicle - you can see what the driving experiences look like in a videotape published by Waymo later this year.
Concerning the idea of offering self-propelled automobiles to the consumer, this is the first occasion that Waymo has so clearly declared this to be one of his objectives. But there are still many regulative barriers to be cleared to get to this point, especially considering that the auto parts industries recently sustained a bodily injury when a walker was hit and injured by a self-propelled over-vehicle during tests in Tempe, Arizona, in March.
Talking about Uber, it seems that the titan calling the wheel might actually be comfortable with Waymo - amazing news considering that Waymo and Uber-Rivale Lyft are already in beds together, and even more so considering that the two corporations were recently involved in a court case over automotive autonomy technologies. It is certainly an exhilarating period in the field of self-drive.
As most of the large automobile manufacturers and many of the large engineering companies push for their positions in this ever more highly contested sector, rapid development is heading towards a widespread introduction of these technologies in one way or another, probably initially a robotic taxi set up along the example announced by Waymo and others.