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We spoke to a Waymo One customer about how robot taxis get confused by rainstorms

We spoke to a Waymo One customer about how robot taxis get confused by rainstorms

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Contributions

  • Fascinating to read about real-world experiences. Particularly interesting to note that human drivers were used during a rainstorm and remote override had to be used at a Costco parking lot during the holiday rush - both remain challenging environments for autonomous vehicles.

  • We have decades of experience with autonomous vehicles: commercial ships and aircraft. They are successful because of two things:

    1) special lanes to reduce risk of collision

    2) beacons on everything that an autonomous vehicle might hit

    In the rush to bring autonomous cars to market, two key things

    We have decades of experience with autonomous vehicles: commercial ships and aircraft. They are successful because of two things:

    1) special lanes to reduce risk of collision

    2) beacons on everything that an autonomous vehicle might hit

    In the rush to bring autonomous cars to market, two key things have been overlooked:

    1) special lanes to reduce risk of collision

    2) beacons on everything that an autonomous vehicle might hit

    The likely result will be many unnecessary deaths. It doesn’t have to be that way, but there is little evidence that anyone will force Waymo and the rest of the autonomous vehicle makers to embrace the lessons of history.

  • I was talking with a few people that have traveled to Phoenix over the last month, to see if they had any interactions whatsoever with this service. More than anything, I was curious why Phoenix was chosen as the initial test market.

    When we stopped and thought about it, the answer that made the most

    I was talking with a few people that have traveled to Phoenix over the last month, to see if they had any interactions whatsoever with this service. More than anything, I was curious why Phoenix was chosen as the initial test market.

    When we stopped and thought about it, the answer that made the most sense was the weather. It’s one of the few major markets where weather isn’t a significant variable. In an R&D scenario you can only test so much at once. If a Waymo employee is spotted at the wheel during a rainstorm, it would seem the company very much has the issue on the brain.

  • Maybe in-vehicle WiFi would help.

  • Wall Street had high hopes that Waymo would have expanded the service this year to multiple cities. I would be suprised if Waymo launched just one other city this year. They are in the lead but scale adoption is years out.

  • We saw one of these on our trip down to Phoenix. Pretty awesome to realize it's real and happening now.