Have you ever wondered how would cars operate without a human taking control of the wheel? Technology has been advancing at an alarming rate recently and this allowed companies to create self-driving cars. These cars eliminate hazards caused by human errors and indecisiveness.
These cars require minimal or no human intervention at all. Self-driving cars make use of technological breakthroughs in navigation to maneuver safely. These include radar, sonar and GPS technologies to name a few. If you are wondering if they can navigate through traffic and signs, yes, they do. These cars opens up a lot of possibilities, especially for businesses that require long-distance driving such as trucking and cargo industries. Self-driving cars are also a big help when it comes to mapping out cities for location-based services.
Speaking of mapping services, Waymo will now look to bring their self-driving cars to Los Angeles, California. Known as America’s second-busiest city, L.A. is set to experience first hand these self-driving cars. However, it will only be to map the city of stars.
In case you are wondering, this is how Waymo will conduct their mapping.
So How Will They Conduct It?
Before we discuss how Waymo will conduct this venture, some people might not be familiar with the company. Waymo is under Alphabet, the parent company to industry giants Google. As explained by the article published by theverge.com, Waymo is the self-driving car division of the corporate umbrella.
Waymo announced its plans to map out Los Angeles by sending a tweet through its official account.
With that out of the way, now the question is how will Waymo conduct their mapping and what is this for. First and foremost, to properly map the city of Los Angeles, Waymo’s self-driving cars will be initially operated by humans. This allows the machines and programs within the car to recognize the traffic patterns of Los Angeles.
Once these cars have properly familiarized themselves with the city’s routes and traffic patterns, then these cars can operate on their own. However, there are no plans yet regarding implementation for passenger services. While these cars can run in autonomous mode, they will only be used to map out the city and test the cars’ capabilities.
California also requires companies to get a working permit whenever they plan to test out autonomous operating vehicles.
California and MDS
Speaking of regulations for self-driving vehicles under California law, the city of Los Angeles makes use of the Mobility Data Specification tool. This device is used to track e-scooters and other transportation devices around the city. Since Waymo will conduct their mapping and testing in the city, they need to share data with LA’s Department of Transportation.
However, the Verge has stated in the article that Waymo has not yet stated if they’ll share data with the city of Los Angeles.
Final Thoughts on Self-Driving Cars
What was once an idea that we can only see in movies and cartoons, self-driving cars are starting to make its impact. However, these items should be in testing continuously especially in major cities to see if there will be potential problems. These cars may eliminate human error but one mechanical or analytical problem can also lead to disaster.