Wen / Xiao Han
Look: Google is again at the forefront of the global autopilot industry.
Waymo, Google's autonomous driving company, officially launched a paid unmanned taxi service in the United States on Wednesday, December 5, December 5.
_Waymo's announcement officially launching taxi service
At the end of October, Google CFO Ruth Porat revealed that it was about to commercialize. After more than a month of waiting, the commercialization of Waymo finally came to dust.
At present, the service has been launched in four suburban areas of Phoenix, Arizona, USA, only to some invited users, and there are still security personnel in the driver's seat of an unmanned taxi. Journalists from the foreign media The Verge have personally experienced Waymo One service, involving many key details such as driving experience, charging standards and so on.
According to Waymo's official news and The Verge's report, the car has sorted out the following six key information points.
Six Key Points of Waymo One
1, who can use it? Open only to some early users
Waymo said, Waymo One was open only to participants in its Early Rider pilot program, a total of several hundred people. The operation area is consistent with the Early Rider trial multiplication project
_Waymo Unmanned Vehicle Driving in the Suburb
Waymo One service operates 24 hours a day, and users can call and pick up at will through App in the operating area. Operating vehicles are the same as before, using Chrysler's Pacific MPV, which can carry up to three adults and one child.
_Waymo Unmanned Vehicle Tested on Open Road
In 2017, Waymo started the Early Rider pilot project in Chandler, a suburb of Phoenix, where audited users can call a Waymo unmanned car on their exclusive App to pick it up. After the launch of Waymo One, some of the Early Rider pilot schemes will be available, while the remaining users will continue the Early Rider pilot project.
So what's the difference between the two? Use the same way, but Waymo One users need to pay! After all, it's a commercial project, and Google has to make money.
2. Is it an unmanned car? There are still security personnel in the front row.
The unmanned car in Waymo One is the Chrysler Pacific MPV, just like the early Rider pilot project. It should be noted, however, that there are still security guards in the front row of Waymo One to ensure takeover at dangerous times.
Previously, Waymo took some of the vehicles in the Early Rider pilot project to the security officer for user experience, but in the commercial project, it still chose to leave the security officer, after all, safety first.
(Waymo) unmanned vehicle
Dan Chu, head of Waymo products, told the media that removing the security guards was still Waymo's long-term goal, but only after a long-term test in the Early Rider pilot project would an unmanned taxi without security guards be deployed in the Waymo One service, but no specific time was given.
Meanwhile, Waymo One will test through the Early Rider pilot before expanding into a new operating area.
3. How does the car run? It's like human beings.
After experiencing the experience, reporters from the foreign media The Verge said that the driving level of Waymo One's unmanned taxi was much higher than that of the earlier Early Rider pilot project.
Previously, Waymo drones were exposed by the media to hesitate and hesitate to walk through intersections, especially those without left-turn protection.
The article "Interpretation of 114 California Unmanned Vehicle Accidents, Google Cloak at Intersection, GM Collision! It was also mentioned in the analysis of the California drone accident report that Waymo's many accidents were tracked down because of the enclosure at the intersection.
In addition, foreign media reporters also mentioned an interesting detail about Waymo One.
At a crossroads with zebra crossings, Waymo's unmanned brakes came on too late to reach the zebra crossing. But then the vehicle retreated some distance to make room for pedestrians.
Although the stop is not in place, it is smart enough to give in.
Into the car, like the unmanned car in the Early Rider pilot project, Waymo One's unmanned taxi has two screens in the back row to show what the unmanned car perceives, and passengers have a row of buttons on top of their heads to press the blue button to start. The other keys are call for help, door lock/unlock, and side parking.
_Upper and lower display interfaces for UAV interior and display respectively
4, how to use it? Just like dropping drops.
Like the earlier Early Rider pilot project, Waymo One also calls a car through a proprietary App.
After opening App, users need to fill in the location and destination of boarding. After calling, the system will give a time when the vehicle is expected to arrive. This app supports iOS and Android, but you can't find it in the App Stores of Apple and Google.
_Waymo One App Interface
One noteworthy detail is that Waymo One's App, like Drop App, has a nearby recommended boarding/getting-off point, except that its icon is a blue-green W and Drop App is a green dot.
Similarly, after the end of the trip, App of Waymo One still allows users to score their services in a five-star model, and gives subdivisions including driving buses, driving and vehicle conditions for selection.
There is also a help button at the bottom of App to get in touch with help files or Waymo One's customer service.
Foreign media reporters pointed out in their experience that Waymo One's App is still in its early stage, and there are some small Bugs, such as the car icon on the map after the call suddenly disappeared.
5, how to charge? 4.8 kilometres, 47.6 yuan
Foreign media reporters booked a trip using Waymo One App for a total of three miles (about 4.8 kilometers) for about eight minutes. Finally, App showed that the cost was $7 (about 47.6 yuan). The reporter said the price was comparable to that of online car services such as Uber and Lyft.
Dan Chu, product director of Waymo, told the media that Waymo is still testing the charging model, but mileage and time are definitely two key elements. At the same time, he also mentioned that price fluctuation based on supply and demand has become the standard operation of the online car industry, implying that Waymo One will also adopt this strategy.
According to foreign media analysis, besides the benchmark model, Waymo may provide paid entertainment or advertising items in the car to earn revenue in the future, and the basic fare may be lower then now.
6. What do users think? Willing to pay
Obviously, the launch of Waymo service is only the first step, and it is the key to turn users of Early Rider pilot project into paying users of Waymo One.
Diego Rivera, a user of Early Rider's pilot project, told the media that he had experienced the growth of Waymo's driverless technology since he first experienced Waymo's driverless car in 2017. In the early days, Waymo drones were extremely conservative, but now they are more radical (for example, speeding up at Yellow lights) and feel more and more like humans as a whole.
So when asked if he would pay for Waymo One, Diego Rivera said yes without hesitation.
After 10 years of research and development, Google's unmanned car finally landed.
It took Google 10 years to officially launch Waymo One's unmanned taxi service from its self-driving team set up in 2009.
1. Origin of the United States Department of Defense
In 2004, DARPA (Defence Advanced Rearch Projects Agency) officially launched Grand Challenge for Driverless Vehicles, attracting research teams from several well-known American universities, including Stanford and Carnegie Mellon.
Among them, Sebastian Thrun (Sebastian, professor of computer science and AI laboratory at Stanford University
_Participate in the unmanned vehicle challenge, pay attention to Google LOGO on the left side of the vehicle
In 2009, Google established the mysterious advanced technology research and development organization Google X, and launched the autopilot project under the leadership of Tron.
The team also attracted Chris, like Carnegie Mellon.
However, the first two have left their jobs before, and have founded Aurora, an autopilot company, and Otto (which was acquired by Uber and expelled by Levandovsky).
2. Product and high-level iterations
Google initially used Toyota Prius hybrid to develop test cars, and then upgraded to Toyota's luxury brand Lexus hybrid SUV RX450h. In the development process, Google has also developed a lovely small electric car (pod car), and removed the steering wheel and brake accelerator pedal.
_Rx450h, Pacific, Prius and Pod Car from the left
In the early days of Google's unmanned car research, it drove the Prius onto public roads in Mountain View City, where Google's headquarters is located. Then, starting from Mountain View City, it gradually covers the whole Silicon Valley and the whole United States.
_Waymo Unmanned Garage
While Google continues to promote the development of the unmanned vehicle business, its organizational structure and leadership have also undergone several changes.
As early as 2013, Tron, who led Google's driverless car team, left office and set up Udacity Yoda, a leading online training firm. After the departure of Tron, former CTO Chris
In December 2016, seven years after investing heavily in R&D, Google decided that technology had reached the critical point of landing, and split the UAV business into independent subsidiary Waymo to accelerate its business progress.
At this time, foreign media reported that Ermonson also chose to leave because he did not agree with the landing time of the UAV technology. Waymo CEO is John Krafcik, former North American CEO of Hyundai Automobile. The new CEO's mission is clear: to push Google's unmanned car technology to the ground as soon as possible.
Krafcik has just taken office and Waymo has entered into a partnership with FCA Fiat Chrysler. Waymo will use FCA's MPV Pacific to develop driverless networking cars.
On March 27 this year, Google pulled in another partner, Jaguar Land Rover. Waymo announced that 20,000 Jaguar I-Pace pure electric SUVs will be purchased and put into operation as driverless taxis by 2020.
_Unmanned Vehicle Based on I-PACE
An interesting episode is that on May 31 this year, Softbank announced that it would invest $2.25 billion in General Cruise, Waymo's biggest rival. Waymo responded the next day with news that its cooperation with the FCA had expanded to 62,000 units.
In addition to purchasing passenger cars from FCA, Jaguar and other brands to build an unmanned network appointment/taxi, Waymo announced in February 2017 that it was developing unmanned trucks in an effort to win both passenger and freight markets.
3. The passenger-carrying test began in 2017.
In April 2017, Waymo launched the Early Rider pilot program in Arizona, opening it to hundreds of families. Registered and audited users can call a Waymo unmanned car to pick up (front row with a security officer) when placing an order on App, and it's 7X24-hour service.
Early Rider Trial Plan
On October 31, 2017, Waymo invited the media to board an unmanned car without a safety guard at its test base. It was a landmark event that Waymo took the lead in removing the safety guard of L4 self-driving passenger car in the world.
In 2018, Google also removed some of the car's security officers from its Early Rider project in Arizona, and early passengers began to actually ride in completely driverless cars. Of course, emergency stop and communication buttons are also reserved at the top of the middle seat, and passengers themselves can act as security guards.
On October 30, California Motor Vehicle Administration (DMV) officially issued Waymo a completely driverless test license, which means that Waymo can also legally test driverless cars without safety personnel on public roads in California.
_Waymo cooperates with Metro Corporation
Later, Waymo accelerated the landing process by collaborating with Wal-Mart, Valley Metro and other companies to explore ways to pick up shoppers or subway passengers in unmanned vehicles.
Valuated at US$175 billion, leading technology in the world
Because of its early start and strong technology, Google Autopilot, or Waymo, has always been considered a global player in the field of unmanned vehicles.
With the same technology, mileage represents R&D strength.
Official data show that Waymo is currently conducting actual road tests in 25 cities in Arizona, California, Texas, Washington and other states. The total mileage has exceeded 10 million miles (16 million km) and is the first place in the actual road test of L4 automatic driving system. There are 10 billion miles of virtual testing.
It should be noted, however, that since Tesla already has hundreds of thousands of units worldwide, the actual mileage of its L2 Autopilot system is even more astonishing, reaching 1 billion miles (about 1.6 billion kilometers).
In addition to the fact that Waymo has accumulated enough mileage, another noteworthy feature is that Google's mileage has increased exponentially, as follows. That is to say, Google will need less time to increase the same number of mileage in the future. Its mileage accumulation is not only more and more, but also faster and faster.
When the California Auto Driving License is issued, the California Auto Driving Authority requires the applicant company to report the vehicle routing regularly and regularly. In addition to reporting every accident, it also needs to submit vehicle intervention data, that is, the mileage of each intervention by MPD (Miles Per Disengagement).
According to DMV's unmanned vehicle test report released in 2017, Waymo traveled 352,000 miles (566,000 kilometers) in California with a total of 63 interventions, equivalent to 5596 miles (9,000 kilometers) for each unmanned vehicle, which required a safety man-made takeover.
What is the concept of 9000 km? It's like running back and forth from the East and west coasts of the United States. And if you look at the performance of other players at the same time, you can better understand why Waymo is called a drone.
General Cruise, which has received huge investments from Softbank, Honda and other companies, follows Waymo in the intervention frequency table, but it needs to intervene once every 1200 miles (about 1900 kilometers), while other car companies and companies are at the level of 100 and individual numbers, making several orders of magnitude wrong.
_General Cruise 4th Generation Unmanned Vehicle
With such technological level and R&D progress, Waymo has naturally become a hot potato in the eyes of investors.
In September, Morgan Stanley, a prominent investment bank, gave Waymo a sky-high valuation of $175 billion in a report, which attracted worldwide attention. According to the report, Waymo's unmanned taxi business is valued at $80 billion, unmanned trucks at $90 billion, and the remaining $7 billion is for software licensing.
The UBS report in May predicted that the global market for autopilot technology would reach 2.8 trillion yuan by 2030, and the Waymo family would occupy 60% of the world's unmanned taxi market.
Interestingly, Wang Min, head of Waymo China, also gave a speech at this summer's Conference on the Open Platform for Unmanned Distribution in the United States and revealed that preparations for the China Office were under way. Subsequently, his business registration information in Shanghai was also exposed.
It's not known how Waymo will land in China, but it's exciting enough for the global autopilot company to compete in the world's largest travel market with a number of domestic autopilot companies.
Concluding remarks: the era of automatic driving has begun
Although automobile companies such as General Motors have been developing auto-driving technology around 1950, these studies are scientific because of the limitation of technology level at that time. Since Google set up the autopilot department in 2009, it is a wave of application-oriented autopilot technology research and development in the whole world.
In the past 10 years, Google has not only driven global technology companies into the field of automatic driving, but also set off a huge wave in the global automotive industry. Whether it's Toyota Volkswagen or BMW Mercedes-Benz, global car companies are all involved in this far-reaching technological revolution.
After 10 years of research and development, as the initiator of this wave, Google took the lead in the commercialization of autopilot technology and formally opened the curtain of the era of autopilot. The future is bound to be more exciting!