Previously Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) or Google’s Self Driving Car Project, Waymo has lowered costs for its key components and has improved reliability of its self-driving feature. “Our latest innovations have brought us closer to scaling our technology to potentially millions of people every day,” Waymo CEO, John Krafcik said.
Through a partnership with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (NYSE: FCAU), Waymo has begun to test its technology in Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Minivans. This is the next step to bringing Waymo’s self-driving project to fruition. LIDAR technology is the use of numerous sensors which also double as radar on and around the car. LIDAR technology used to cost about $75,000 but the cost of it has reduced over 90 percent. Waymo has also claimed that they have developed LIDAR sensors that permit its vehicles to “see small people and objects close to the car, and spot tiny objects far away, too, Krafcik said.
“We’re serious about creating full self-driving cars that can help millions of people,” said Krafcik. “To do that, we have to oversee both the self-driving software and self-driving hardware.” Over 2.5 million miles were recorded as Waymo was testing its autonomous driving technology.