Waymo Self-Driving Chrysler Pacifica's Can Now Respond To Police Hand Signals

How are self driving cars going to be able to handle unexpected and unusual situations? What if the electricity goes out and traffic signals aren't working and the vehicle needs to respond to hand signals from a police officer?  This is the major point that skeptics of self driving cars and the automated software that drives these vehicles keep pointing out and asking. 

On Wednesday, Waymo released a video clip, sped up on purpose to show the interaction more rapidly, that shows a Waymo Chrysler Pacifica detecting an intersection where the traffic lights aren't working. The Pacifica's software detects a traffic officer, the yellow shape in this machine vision view, and waits until the traffic officer gestures for traffic to continue ahead.

It's an impressive demonstration of the ability of Waymo's software to interpret human gestures. Waymo previously said, in a blog post from 2016, that its cars' sensors and software can "read" and react to hang signals made by cyclists, such as for turning or stopping.
One thing in Waymo's favor is the fact that there Pacifica's have covered a huge number of miles in recent years, all of which allows the company to continue developing its software. The most recent report from Waymo says the company's self-driving cars racked up a combined 1.26 million miles in 2018. 

More impressive still, the vehicles are proving to be able to go farther between disengagements -- situations where the computers cede control to a human safety driver. Waymo reported just 0.09 disengagements per 1,000 miles driven, a lower number than any of its rivals, and equal to a distance of over 11,000 miles driven between each disengagement.

No comments:

Post a Comment