Thursday, May 19, 2022

This 360-degree video from Waymo lets you ride in its driverless van

Have you ever wanted to take a ride in a driverless car?

Well, now you can experience what it’s like, thanks to Waymo, which has released a 360-degree video showing the inside of one of its fully driverless minivans. Waymo is the self-driving car company that was spun off from Google. It’s currently developing autonomous driving capabilities as well as a commercial robot taxi service in Arizona. It’s also raising awareness about its tech and efforts.

A poll released in January showed Americans don’t trust self-driving cars. When asked how concerned they’d be to share the road with a driverless car, 31 per cent of respondents said “very concerned. And a majority (63 per cent) did not support “mass exemptions” from federal motor vehicle safety standards for self-driving cars. Waymo clearly needs to work on making people feel more comfortable.

After all, the Arizona Department of Transportation has approved Waymo’s application to operate as a transportation network in the state. It now appears that, while Waymo develops that network, it’s also trying raise public awareness about self-driving cars and their ability to safely navigate through various urban and suburban environments. The company’s new video primarily serves as a tutorial.

As you ride along in the three-in-a-half-minute long, immersive clip, you’ll hear a narrator explain how Waymo’s minivans are able to identify everything around them, the types of sensors used by Waymo (LIDAR, radar, and high-def cameras), and more technical details. You’ll definitely get the full run-down, as well as experience what it’s like to finally be a passenger in a self-driving vehicle.

You’re immersed in Waymo’s fully driverless minivan as it travels down a street. Waymo didn’t edit anything except for color and brightness, it said. It did tuck a person in the car for filming purposes, but the person did not control the vehicle whatsoever. You can watch the 4K video on mobile, desktop, or by inserting your phone into your Cardboard or Daydream View and looking around.


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